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2023-01-11 at 20:53 #388825Nat QuinnKeymaster
*Lowveld Checkpoint news*
11 January 2023
*Mpapa farmers lament the gap left by Warth*
*By Staff Writer*
Sugarcane out grower farmers in Mpapa under the Development Trust of Zimbabwe (DTZ) scheme are saying they have given up hope of profitable farming following the eviction Shane Warth.
Warth who was a scheme member was forced off his farm during the festive season and some of his property was destroyed by rain. His farm was allocated to three new farmers, Cuthbert Muzara, a former Headmaster at Chingami primary school, in Mwenezi, Solicitor Mutendi and one Chiguba. Mutendi had to withdraw from the farm after he was allocated another one.
Muzara moved in last year and harvested Shane’s crop, but is now failing to maintain the new crop.
A visit to the farm by our News crew showed that Muzara’s new crop is dwarfed by tall grass and looks inferior to produce a profitable yield. He is also struggling to irrigate.
Instead,the two new farmers are now fighting themselves of Warth’s farm house.A security company was allegedly hired by Chiguba to prevent Muzara from occupying the house and taking over the banana orchard.
This publication is reliably informed that the two are on the verge of dragging each other to court any time soon.
Chiguba has never been at the farm,while Muzara moved in and harvested last year.He is currently staying at the compound.
Efforts to get a comment from Muzara were fruitless.
saidral farmers who spoke to this publication said the profitable farming days are over at Mpapa.
“Once one farmer fails to produce above the desired level, we are all affected because we work as a scheme not individuals. Now that the only farmer who was producing more than anyone else here is gone, we are so certain that we won’t make it any more,” Francis Garirayi said.
Garirayi who is the chairperson of the Mpapa Scheme also said every farmer relied in one way or the other on Warth.
“In one way or the other all farmers here depended on Warth, be it paying electricity bills or other irrigation challenges. He helped almost all of his workers to get identity documents. We are at loss of words on his removal here and we challenge the authorities to look into this matter seriously.”
One worker who worked for Warth for the past 15 years who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of victimisation said:”I have been here for 15 years. Not even a single month passed without my salary. Neither did my family slept on empty stomachs. We are doomed”, he said.
Apart from Sugarcane farming, Warth had a banana plantation where vendors from Mwenezi, Triangle and Chiredzi would buy at wholesale price. He was also into groundnuts, maize and sunflower farming.
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