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Introduction
 
Tendai was working in a senior position on a white-owned farm when "war veterans" seized control of the land. He told BBC News Online how his life has changed since.

The situation right now is very tense. It's very difficult for black people holding senior positions on the farms. Every day we are intimidated by party members. They wake us up during the night and order us to attend political rallies. You have to be there, whether you want to or not.

The rallies can go on for five or six hours of the night. Some farmworkers start work at around midnight or 1:00am. Others start at 3:00am - so it's very difficult. A couple of weeks ago they came to try and force me to attend one of these rallies.

About 50 of them came in the night and used sticks to try and break down the doors of every house on the farm. They were singing Chimurenga (liberation) songs. Some people were afraid, and fled their homes to spend the night hiding in the bushes with their children.

I ran away, so they trashed my back windows thinking that maybe I was inside. But fortunately I had already escaped.

They broke down my neighbour's door and beat him up. These people don't work, they don't have money. So if they manage to get inside someone's house, they will steal.

Escalating violence

We have been seeing this sort of thing since June 2000 - after the parliamentary elections. But now it's worse. People are being killed.

They ask people "Where's your (party) membership card?". If you don't have that membership, you'll lose your life.

My family lives in fear. It was lucky that I was alone when those men raided the farm. All my family members were away. Now I've got my eight-month old, my 12-year-old and my younger brother.

I am always afraid because we are close to the road. So if we hear people coming this way singing Chimurenga songs, the best thing to do is run. All the senior workers fear they will harass and beat us.

A camp of people has formed near my house. Some of the inhabitants are squatters. There is no trust between farmworkers because some people are afraid, while others tell the militants - the Zanu-PF people - what's going on.

They always target the senior people on the farms or in the company. They say we have a big influence on the labour force about which party to support, which is not true.

This has been going on for well over a year now, and it's a constant source of stress for me and my family. I don't buy anything any more. Whatever money comes in, I save for my kids - because I don't know what might happen to me.

I am just waiting to see what happens when the election is over.

For now, I can't even return to the village where I was born. It's not safe to move even 10 or 20 km away during the night. I cannot do it because I am scared. I don't know what would happen to me. And the moment I leave, they will come .


We have been seeing this sort of thing since June 2000 - after the parliamentary elections. But now it's worse. People are being killed

Veteran controlled land
My family lives in fear. It was lucky that I was alone when those men raided the farm

Farm workers huts burnt down
I don't buy anything any more. Whatever money comes in, I save for my kids - because I don't know what might happen to me
 
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