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Police, Zanu-PF supporters battler over Bromley farm

by Staff reporter
26 Jul 2019 at 08:23hrs | Views
RUNNING battles between police and about 500 Zanu-PF supporters remain the order of day at Bromley's Subdivision H of Whiteside Farm a fortnight after the ruling party supporters were evicted from the farm.

Samson Chauruka, who has since 2011 failed to occupy the 40,8-hactare farm that accommodates one of the biggest tobacco grading factories in the country, recently teamed up with the sheriff and successfully removed the illegal occupants.

However, chaos reigned supreme as the evicted people, who most of them adorned Zanu-PF T-shirts retaliated and returned to the compound despite a court order to evict them.

Since then, there has been running battles between the farm owner, police and the evicted former farm workers with the former failing to farm as violence has become the order of the day.

Currently, some of the evicted people are living in the open near Bromley Shopping Centre along the Harare-Mutare Highway.

Chauruka told NewsDay yesterday that he is yet to occupy the farm as the evicted people are disturbing the whole process through unleashing violence against his men and the police.

"We are yet to occupy the farm. We tried to enter the farm again last Friday and they (ex-farm workers) attacked police officers before kidnapping two of my guys. However, half of the compound is now burnt down. I am liaising with the Sheriff so that we repeat the process until the remainder of those resisting

leave," he said.

According to a survey conducted by this paper, the farm has attracted interests from local Zanu-PF officials who are currently leasing some of the building to road works companies as well as operating the tobacco grading factory.

The farm used to be owned by late white farmer Lombert, who later sold it to Chauruka – an indigenous businessman who runs butcheries across the country.

"The whole issue is politicised. Currently, they have vandalised the grading factory that we refurbished some years ago. Some of them are sub-letting the buildings to road maintenance companies. We have to raise funds again to restore production facilities which will take a year or two. It is really sad how the third biggest primary tobacco processing plant has been stripped down and 250 jobs lost," Chauruka added.

The ex-farm workers were first evicted in 2012 before Zanu-PF intervened, ordering them to re-occupy the compound until an alternative place was secured for them.

However, the ruling party last year lost the constituency to MDC Alliance in the July 30 harmonised elections.

Source - newsday