Until 2010, BonneZim Pty Ltd was the single largest exporter of processed green beans to the European Union from Zimbabwe, with revenues in excess of $7 million annually. Taken over by a parastatal, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), as part of the land reform programme in 2005, the company was plagued by mismanagement. By 2009 its workers were on strike for nearly a year’s worth of back pay and in 2011, the company filed for bankruptcy leaving scores of factory and farmworkers without a living.
Shortly afterwards a young entrepreneur, Simbarashe Mhungu, bought the firm, renaming it ‘Harvest Fresh’. Employing a few of the remaining farmworkers Mhungu began to reinvigorate the company by producing bottled water from the farm’s boreholes as a way of injecting capital. Six years on, the project has stalled, as the political and economic challenges of running an agribusiness company in Zimbabwe prove too difficult to circumnavigate even for the enthusiastic Mhungu.
These images were taken at Harvest Fresh farm on the outskirts of Chegutu, Zimbabwe in late 2015 and serve as a stark reminder of the complex and difficult history of the Zimbabwean land struggle.
All images © Davina Jogi