The Progressive Agriculture and Allied Industries Workers Union of Zimbabwe (PAAWUZ) has been encouraged by the coming into office of President Emerson Mnangagwa’s administration.
PAAWUZ secretary-general Raymond Sixpence said that under former President Robert Mugabe’s government, his union could not recover the money owed to its members by farmers, most of whom were protected by the system.
To date, PAAWUZ has managed to recover more than $300 000 owed to its members by commercial farmers. Said Sixpence:
The commercial farmers would bribe the security sector to harass us and even chase us away from farms where we work with farmworkers but everything has changed now and we can freely visit our members.
There is also easy communication with the farmers because they now know they cannot be protected because the new government does not tolerate that.
While we still have more than double of what we have recovered being owed by some stubborn commercial farmers, overall we are thankful to the new government for supporting black farm workers and restoring their rights and dignity.
The union represents more than 30 000 farmworkers across the country. Most of these farmworkers are owed thousands of dollars in back pay, salary arrears, retrenchment packages and pensions.