Gardenier Farm: health time bomb in offing

Dressed in a torn nylon dress, heavily pregnant and carrying  her one year old daughter, who could not walk or sit due to severe burns at her back, Shylet Meza could not fathom the kind of life that she is living in a fowl run under squalid conditions, a recipe for a health time bomb that could explode anytime, writes Ashley Muremba.

As witnessed by this newscrew, the burden for such misfortunes will always haunt the mother of the family more than the father.

Meza, who could not stop sobbing, leads one of over 129 families that were recently evicted from Gardineir farm near Harare. The families were left with no option but to seek shelter from a fowl run, posing a health hazard to all these stranded families.

Houses and property were destroyed with the help of the police force living the workers with nowhere to go and later got.

Thank God, a good Samaritan Minister of Parliament Tongai Mnangagwa had to intervene and offered then shelter at the fowl run while lasting solutions are sought.

The families were evicted from their long time lodgings at the farm amid claims that the farm was sold to a new owner, Keith Taylor who took over from Andreas Gardineir.

However,  though, 263Chat could not lay their hands on the paper work to support or authenticate the transaction.

The life in a fowl run has been a struggle to the mothers of these families as they are the ones who are always with the family in such trying times as well as carrying the burden of the entire family.

Meza could neither mince her words nor hide her sorrow to the newscrew.

” Just look at me. Look at my baby. She has been in severe pain but there is nothing that I can do because I have no money to take her to hospital. The burns are a result of evictions, if I was not evicted my daughter could not have been exposed to such inhuman life which led to these burns that you seeing.”

“Looking at my condition as well.  This eviction left us with no option but to call this fowl run home. Who knows, maybe chicken that used to be kept in here had different forms of diseases, this is inhuman,” said Meza.

The magnitude of the evictions have scaled to am extent that some school going children have since dropped out of school. Their parents have been battling to put food on the table, relegating other necessities that also include education.

“I’m not going to school because l do not have uniforms and books. Everything that we owned  was destroyed during the  destruct ions. l do not even know when l will go back to school.  My dreams are being shuttered with each day passing while  l stay here in the fowl run,” said a disgruntled Faith Kafodya.

Women at the new site do not face problems of putting food on the table only, but also have to deal with making available other necessities like clean drinking water which has proved to be so precious to get as well as dealing with physiological strength of all other family members.

“Women have to walk long distance in search of safe water and firewood.  Our children are not attending school whereas us men will be trying  to look for piece jobs to sustain our families” alluded Themba Ndlovu (not his real name)

Sobbing uncontrollably, another eviction victim,  Caroline Mugozori had this to say;  “l do not know how l am going to live with my daughter who has a disability. Her wheelchair was destroyed during the eviction process.Now l have a burden to watch over her everywhere she goes.”

Families have been forced to live under squalid condition in a fowl run, partitioned using sacks so as to allow a little bit of privacy. – 263Chat


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