More Zimbabwe farm invasions
So, you would’ve thought that Mugabage would’ve learnt his lesson by now and just left the handful of remaining white farmers alone to at least try to feed some of his people….but no. Old Mad Bob is at it again. Apparently, a few of his cronies still only have a few farms each and they want more! So, he’s once again allowing his
thugs war veterans to scare these farmers off their land. Just what has Morgan Tsvangirai achieved since becoming Prime Minister, except prove that Blacks don’t care about anything but their own welfare. At least when he was still angling for a cabinet position he gave the appearance of caring about the country. Yeah right.
Harare – White farmers and their lawyers are struggling with a new wave of violent invasions of what is left of the embattled community’s farms, agricultural union officials said on Thursday.
Arrests, abductions and illegal seizures of land in the last two weeks have come in spite of reported undertakings by President Robert Mugabe to President Jacob Zuma not to allow lawlessness that could disturb the smooth running of the World Cup in South Africa.
The country’s once flourishing commercial farming community of about 5 000 farmers has been decimated by a campaign of violent seizures unleashed by Mugabe since 2000.
The seizures triggered the collapse of the country’s agriculturally-based economy, and drove 3 million workers – more than double the number of people purportedly resettled – into homelessness and penury.
Farm unions estimate there are perhaps 400 white farmers are still operating, but under constant harassment.
In the Bubye district in the western province of Matabeleland North, six farmers were evicted at gunpoint, arrested and forced to spend several nights in jail after state security agents seized their farms, officials of the Southern African Commercial Farmers Association said in a statement.
All of them were accused of illegally occupying state land seized for resettlement although all had court orders stating that the parts of their farms they occupied were exempt from seizure.
Two of the farmers, kidney transplant patient Goff Carbutt and 78- year-old Ed Grenfell-Dexter, were eventually freed after intervention by a South African diplomat on the grounds that they were both South African citizens and their farms were protected by a bilateral investment treaty signed by the two countries last week.
However, they were ordered by Bulawayo high court Judge Mafios Cheda not to return to the farms, on pain of rearrest.
Farm union officials said two weeks ago Cheda had been allocated another farm in the district from which the owner was instantly evicted.
Other evictions happened in the Shamva district, about 100km north of Harare, Marondera, an area 80km from the capital and in the Karoi region.
The tempo of violence and threats against legitimate commercial farmers is increasing, the SACFA spokesperson said.
“It is with dismay that we note over a year after the inauguration of the power-sharing government, this criminal behaviour is allowed to continue with impunity,” he said.
Pro-democracy Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who partners the octogenarian Mugabe in Zimbabwe’s coalition government, has no powers over the police and omnipresent secret police, and has failed to ensure any action is taken to halt the land-grab.
Zimbabwe is appealing for about a million tons of food aid this year, after productive farms were left mostly in the hands of senior Mugabe cronies and fell into disuse, according to aid agency officials.