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    Saturday, 24 September 2016

    Workers, MPs’, business, churches, to stage demos against Tongaat land seizures


    – Tongaat Hulett workers, Chiredzi MPs and Zanu PF supporters are planning a five-day massive demonstration against the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Dr Douglas Mombeshora.
    All four Chiredzi MPs and two of the country's biggest unions have signed an application for approval of the demo to the Police. The demonstrations which are to start on Monday next week and are to run until Friday are a protest against arbitrary acquisition of sugarcane fields as well as planned eviction of illegal settlers from various farms.
    The demonstrations have seen two unions that rarely see eye to eye joining hands in what is poised to be the biggest demonstration in the sugarcane growing town ever. The notification to the Police was signed by MPs'; Kallisto Gwanetsa, Denford Masiya, Darlington Chiwa and Robert Mukwena.
    The other signatories are the Sugar Production and Milling Industry Workers Union of Zimbabwe (SPMIWUZ), war veterans, Zanu PF district chairpersons, pastors and members of the business community. The letter said that the petition will be handed over to the district lands offices by the Members of Parliament who will be leading the demonstrations.
    MP for Chiredzi West Darlington Chiwa confirmed the impending demonstrations and said it is the only action that is to be taken when all other remedies have failed. He said the legislators will be leading the demonstrations which are in solidarity with President Mugabe who ordered a stop to the takeover of sugarcane plantations.
    Chiwa however, said some in Government are openly defying the President.
    He added that the defiance is leading to huge losses of jobs which the Chiredzi community would not stand by and watch.
    "We are making a fresh application to Police and as I speak l am going to submit the application to the officer commanding Police on behalf of all the coordinators. The letter was signed by many parties who are joining the demonstration to air their grievances against the continued takeover of Tongaat Hullet land which will leave over 2000 workers jobless.
    "The demonstrations will take five good days with people walking from the Show Grounds to the district lands offices. This is specifically against the Minister of Lands," said Chiwa.
    SPMIWUZ Executive Secretary Adonia Mutero said workers will come in their numbers to take part in the demonstration as they are the most affected by the land acquisition program.
    "The purpose of the procession is to show solidarity with His Excellency Cde R.G Mugabe against the defiance being shown by the Hon Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlements Cde Douglas Mombeshora. a)Following an appeal by Workers representatives, Constituency MPs as well as political leadership to His Excellency on his visit to Triangle on the 25th of June 2016, which appeal aims to save job losses in Triangle Limited and Hippo Valley Estates, a situation which arise due to the intended takeover of more than 4000 hectares of sugar cane fields. b) Appeal against the intended evictions of approximately 16000 A1 settlers" reads part of the letter.
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