The majority of farm workers in farming communities are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by unscrupulous farm owners. This is mainly due to lack of human rights awareness. This is worsened by the lack of alternative forms of employment; thereby leaving the workers stuck even where they are being exploited. ZimRights held meetings with a number of farm owners, with the objective of encouraging them to pay their workers a fair living wage. A research carried out by ZimRights officers revealed that workers' wages were a measly USD10 per month. Participants suggested that there is need to allocate pieces of land to farm workers, so that they can supplement their low wages. It was also suggested that farm owners increase the wages to a reasonable amount. However, farm owners highlighted that, while they may consider increasing the wages, they too, are struggling to make amends as they buy inputs on the black market, making profits very low. It was noted that the land issue remains a very sensitive one as the subject has become politicised.
The National Director at a Public meeting in Pumula Public meeting Jambezi Human Rights workshop in Ntutuko
In Masvingo region, human rights education workshops were held during the month of April at Chiredzi East's Rupanganwa Training Centre and Machoka Primary school. These were intended to inform and educate participants on what human rights are and how they can be promoted and protected. Present at the meetings were representatives from the Ministry of Youth Development Chauke Evidence and Zonke Kessaia, and the ZimRights local coordinator Tembani Zimheni.
A number of human rights awareness programmes were carried out covering several districts in Midlands namely Mvuma and Gokwe South. A total of 8 community human rights education workshops were held. This programme also saw the establishment of resource centres in Masuka, Mhende Ward 5, in Chirumhanzu, Chizhou ward 5 and Kaguta. Below is a graph showing the general attendance by category in summary:
In the areas covered, a larger number of participants consisted of females mainly because workshops are generally considered to be for women who have extra time on their hands to attend as compared to men, who are said to have too much work and no spare time. Gender is still an issue in some communities as some women failed to participate actively in the workshops that were done in all the areas because their opinions are not respected. Most rural women consider themselves worthless and inferior to men, mainly due to socialization which therefore plays a pivotal role in their participation in workshops of this magnitude.
Some of the women participants who attended a Human Rights Education in Tank 7 , Masuka, Gokwe South