Villagers looting sugarcane in Chiredzi as hunger hits Zimbabwe

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CHIREDZI – Sugarcane farmers in Chiredzi are counting their losses as drought-ravaged villagers are coming in hordes to steal cane from their fields.
They come in large numbers and each villager carries away a 50kg load of cane while others actually use scotch carts to carry away their loot.
The problem is so serious that it is one of the challenges that had to be presented to the Minister of Industry and Commerce Zimbabwe, Mike Bimha during a tour of Tongaat Hullet operations two weeks ago.
Sugarcane Development Association Chairman Edmore Veterai said that the villagers strike at night and they are inflicting huge losses on farmers.
He called upon the Government to impose stiff penalties to those caught stealing sugarcane as a deterrence measure.
“Minister we are facing a great challenge of sugarcane thefts which are heavily affecting our harvests.
“These thieves who are driven by hunger come at night and in large numbers and one person can carry away 50kg bundle of cane and sometimes they bring scotch carts,” said Veterai.