Zapu demands Mutare farmers’ compensation for destroyed farm produce
By Staff Reporter
OPPOSITION Zapu has urged the compensation of Mutare farmers whose fresh vegetable produce was seized recently and callously burnt down by police for allegedly violating the country’s lockdown measures.
Government recently imposed a 21-day national lockdown to prevent the further spread of coronavirus.
The prolonged job and business break was abruptly announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa without offering much clarity on how businesses with perishable produce would operate.
This led to police confiscating loads of fresh produce in Mutare which they burnt down.
In a statement Friday, Zapu Secretary of Elections Benard Magugu slammed Zimbabwean authorities for apparent insensitivity through destroying the genuine livelihoods of farmers.
“Burning food amidst the hunger ravaging Zimbabwe at the moment shows how heartless the government in power is,” Magugu said.
“Green vegetables and tomatoes are very basic essentials that comprise an important part of people’s daily needs.
“How will the people sustain their lives through this lockdown without any food in their houses.
“The government also did not consider the plight of farmers who have fields full of ripening produce who stand to lose out on a lot of income if the supply line is cut.”
Zapu called for the compensation of the vendors and farmers for their loss.
“We stand with the disenfranchised Farmers and Vendors of Mutare and Zimbabwe,” said the party.
“The lockdown in Zimbabwe at the moment should not be used as a scapegoat by the law enforcement authorities to violate human rights or to settle political scores on Zanu Pf’s behalf.
“The rule of law must always be observed and offenders should be punished through the right constitutional means not heartless draconian acts such as burning people’s wares.”
Magugu urged exemplary leadership by the Zanu PF led administration.
“While we acknowledge the need to defeat the threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government must remember that people need food to remain alive.
“The lockdown must not be the death of our small holder farmers or livelihoods of any Zimbabwean in these trying times.
“Provisions need to made to get their produce distributed and feed our Nation.”