Karoi Spring Farm Report

1.         Introduction

1.1 This report contains findings of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC), pursuant to an investigation undertaken by the ZHRC into a complaint alleging the violation of human rights of farmworkers at Spring Farm, Hurungwe Central District in the Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe.

1.2 The complainant, who is  Mr. Temba Mliswa’s Election Agent and who lodged the complaint on behalf of other complainants, alleges that from or around the 26th and 27th of April 2015 to on or about the 4th of May 2015, ZANU–PF Youths from Karoi, assaulted, intimidated, harassed and caused strife among Spring Farm workers because the lessee of the farm, one Temba Mliswa, is now contesting Parliamentary Elections as an Independent Candidate whereas previously he was a ZANU-PF member and candidate. It is alleged that a group of around 1000 youths harassed, beat up, intimidated and terrorized the farmworkers during the period in question. The youths were allegedly ferried to and from the farm at different times by vehicles belonging to known politicians who are resident in the area. It is also alleged that community members and other known politicians who support ZANU-PF contributed foodstuffs to feed the youths during the time they invaded Spring Farm. Evidence of books which have lists of the contributions and names will be annexed hereto. Pictures showing the injuries sustained will also be annexed. The youths established bases on the farm which barricaded the area day and night thereby restricting the movements of the residents of the Farm and outsiders. The complainant reported that during the reported period the farm replicated a ‘war zone’.

1.3 Furthermore, allegations are that the violence erupted after Honorable Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing, Dr. Philip Chiyangwa, a prominent businessman who is also a member of ZANU-PF and HonorableZiyambi Ziyambi, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, had addressed a rally of ZANU PF supporters at Nyamhunga Primary School in Hurungwe West where they called for, amongst other things, Mr. Temba Mliswa’s ouster from the farm and Hurungwe West constituency as well as invasion and seizure of his farm. Further, at the same meeting, the aforementioned individuals assaultedand demoted community leaders seen to be in support of Temba Mliswa.

1.4 In determining its role in this matter, the ZHRC considered that this set of facts give rise to distinct causes of action, namely;

Criminal action in respect of the alleged assault and torture;

Civil action in respect of damages arising from the alleged claim of pain and suffering and the impairment of human dignity;

A human rights investigation into human rights violations of Chapter 4 Part 2 of the Declaration of Rights in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

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