Former President Robert Mugabe’s nephew, Leo Mugabe, is failing to pay 85 workers at Nangadza Farm near Mhangura in Mashonaland West province.
Leo Mugabe, who was also the president of the Zimbabwe Football Association, has not paid the employees in the past 13 months with one of them saying he is owed at least 10,000 Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollars.
Mugabe confirmed that he has not paid workers but noted that the employees should be grateful because he gave them pieces of land to cultivate tobacco.
He said his workers are still the “happiest farm laborers in the country” as they still enjoy privileges they used to get when white commercial farmers were in charge of prime land in Zimbabwe.
But the workers, who are getting RTGS$2 per day instead of RTGS$5, said Leo Mugabe is worse than some farmers in the area in terms of paying employees.
They claimed that Mugabe is forcing them to pay rentals for using barns to cure tobacco and other services linked to farming.
Felix Chusuvi, who is owed nearly RTGS$10,000 in fuel and land tillage costs, said Mugabe is now planning to sack some of the workers to avoid paying their salaries.
General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe provincial officer, Anna Matambanadzo, said such issues should be reported to her organization.
Matambanadzo said their membership has dwindled because farm workers could no longer afford to pay for subscriptions.
Zimbabwe embarked on a land reform program in 2000, which resulted in over 4,000 white commercial farmers losing their land to indigenous blacks.