CFU President, Deon Theron said: “Most former commercial farmers have fallen on very hard times. Recently a former commercial farmer stormed into my office and threatened to shoot himself and her wife because life had become unbearable for him and his wife. This incident among others prompted us to engage the British government since they are an important player in Zimbabwe’s land question.”
He said his organisation is currently assisting more than 50 former commercial farmers a month with boxes of groceries sourced from church organisations in South Africa.
Theron was addressing the union‘s meeting held in Bulawayo on Friday. He described the level of poverty among the former farmers, particularly those above the age of 60 years, as alarming.
Theron said the CFU leadership was recently in UK where they met various influential people including Britain’s African minister Henry Bellingham and discussed the plight of the former commercial farmers.
“Some of the people and organisations whom we met in the UK were very helpful and these are Roy Bennett and National Farmers Union of UK officials. A lot of organisations are willing to help. We are opening our doors to both the British and Zimbabwe governments on this issue. The farmers should either be given their compensation or their land back. They cannot continue to suffer when they have made immense contribution to the nation,” he said.
Bennett, the Movement for Democratic Change treasurer (MDC-T) general, fled Zimbabwe citing persecution. He is now assisting his party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to raise funds and with various lobby work in Europe.