Villagers who were evicted from Arnold Farm to make way for Grace Mugabe recount ordeal6 years ago
Villagers that were evicted from Arnold Farm in Mazowe to make way for Grace Mugabe recounted their ordeal to The Standard.
One Tapiwa Daisi recounted how his wife and daughter was assaulted. Said Daisi:
I rushed there in the company of my uncle. I couldn’t believe what I saw as I arrived. The plain-clothed officers were assaulting my wife and 15-year-old daughter with open hands, booted feet and switches. I cried out loud asking why they wanted to destroy my family. That is when the men said the person they wanted was me. They started assaulting me indiscriminately using wooden sticks, booted feet and open hands. The assault took quite some time but fellow villagers couldn’t come to my rescue because of fear. We all cried but they kept on assaulting us. Later on they tied my hands with a rope.Feedback
When The Standard visited the farm recently, about 50 families had gathered outside Arnold Farm, along the Harare-Bindura highway. Jairos Mativenge said:
They wanted to give us very small pieces of land but we rejected them and stayed put at the farm. We said the government cannot do this to us because we deserve to be given adequate land, just like other people who were relocated since 1980. In 2015 they did the same. Now it’s 2017 and they are telling us to leave and they are beating us and destroying our houses, property and fields.
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Another villager Robert Magora said their experience had left many wondering if Zimbabwe was a free country. Said Magora:
We ask ourselves are we really Zimbabweans just like any other citizen of this country or we are aliens. If they think we are aliens, let them take us to those countries where we came from? The unfair part is that we are making Zanu PF win elections but after the resounding win, they chase us like baboons.Right now we don’t have anywhere to sleep and our children are being affected and mothers are giving birth right in the forest. If they say we came from Korea let them take us there and stop treating us like baboons that stay in mountains. This is Zimbabwe where our brothers, sisters and relatives contributed during the liberation struggle. This is not the Zimbabwe that we fought for.
Sarudzai Muriro said the first family had many big farms in the area and evicting poor people from their plots was being heartless.
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