…Farming equipment now in idle following eviction
Mwenezi-Former white farmer Shane Warth who in December 2022 was unceremoniously evicted from his 60 hectare plot in Mpapa area of Mwenezi East’s ward 13 has lamented that his several attempts to get an offer letter have all been in vain.
The plot that he productively utilized for 32 years and his state-of-the-art farming equipment is now lying idle at his homestead in Chiredzi following his eviction from the plot.
Warth (65), who at his evicted plot had a total of 25 permanent workers was the only farmer among 17 other Mpapa plot owners with a Centre Pivot and state-of-the-art farming equipment that made him one of the top local farmers who besides specialising in sugar cane farming also grew maize and soya beans among several other crops.
In a telephone interview, Warth told Tellzim News that having invested so much in the plot for the past 32 years; the eviction had completely ruined his life.
He said he is counting losses as he lost a considerable part of property during the eviction.
“I acquired the plot by paying for it some 32 years back and I made huge investment to ensure massive production at my plot and right now it is very painful that someone who had put absolutely nothing came over to claim ownership of the plot. The eviction had completely ruined my life. Right now my farming equipment is idle here in Chiredzi.
“Despite overwhelming evidence that I had been very productive for the past 32 years, I made countless efforts to get the offer letter at district, provincial and national levels but I was turned down in all the offices,” bemoaned Warth.
Warth’s fellow farmers at Mpapa also confirmed that the evicted farmer was indeed a star whom they relied on many farming expertise.
“We were given this land and we paid for it as it was part of pension package from Triangle Sugarcane Company where all the plot occupants used to work.
“What irks the most is that in the case of Warth’s eviction, the issue of property rights was completely ignored. We are really wondering where exactly are we going as a nation when proven progressive farmers like Warth are kicked out of their land like that and replaced by people without any track record of farming. Why don’t the government look for several vacant lands for newcomers to prove their farming skills?
“More worrisome is the fact that his yearly production regularly surpasses the rest of the farmers here. He was the only local farmer with the Centre Pivot and many of us relied on him in diverse ways,” said one Mpapa farmer who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Warth was evicted from his plot to pave way for Zanu PF central Committee member Cuthbert Muzara and one Emmanuel Chugubu who is said to be employed at a mine in Zvishavane.
One of the eviction’s beneficiaries, Muzara, told Tellzim News that he co-existed very well with Warth before his final removal.
Muzara who denied allegations of reaping where he did not sow by reportedly imposing himself on a farm where he did not contribute anything for its sustenance said he is legally occupying the plot.
“I am legally occupying the 21 hectare part of the plot that used to belong to Warth. I got the offer letter for that land which I acquired in 2017. I did not loot any of his property but I just legally occupy that piece of land.
“As for occupying the land, I started staying there in June last year and we used to co-exist very well and on several instances, I would hire Warth’s Centre Pivot to water my plot section. All the noise that came out recently was caused by his eviction from the main house and the larger plot section where my other colleague (Chugubu) has acquired an offer letter for,” said Muzara.
Initially, the Mpapa area had a total of 17 farmers of which four of them were whites but currently only two white farmers have remained while the other two were evicted.