|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
This report does not purport to
cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial farming areas.
Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers from reporting
all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names, are omitted to
minimise the risk of reprisals.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
· Five farmers were charged this morning at the Gwanda Magistrate’s Court under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act.
· Gutu/Chatsworth – the Condor Farm owner had 350 head of cattle locked in a kraal for approximately 50 hours with minimal access to water and no access to grazing.
· Mwenezi - farm workers who had paid the local warlord, Vundukai, in advance on the promise of receiving maize, were sidelined when a government truck delivered maize at the weekend. Only settlers were allowed to receive maize, and this is one of several deliveries from which the farm workers were excluded over the past month. Some farm workers have only been able to access less than 10kg of maize per month to feed themselves and their families.
· Mwenezi - People settled on Kleinbegin leased out grazing for 2000 head of cattle, which are crowding out the owner’s 300 head left there. Thirsty game, which are relentlessly chased by dogs, seek refuge within the security fence and are killed there.
· Chakari - None of the farmers in this association have been allowed to continue production.
· Burma Valley - On 09.08.02 there were labour strikes on four farms in Burma Valley and one farmer and his wife were barricaded in their farmhouse.
· Nyazura - There have been strikes on some farms, where the workers demand the farmers provide mealie meal, which is not available.
· Harare South - One farmer had the tap on his dam opened and lost a considerable amount of water.
· Norton - On Riverside Farm the owner was given a magazine containing an article about someone who had been killed. The bits about the incident were underlined. The person who gave him the magazine wants to move into his home.
Middle Save - Four farmers were told by a deposition of army, OIC, and land task force members to be off their farms by 8am on 12.08.02. They moved to neighbours farms. They have all had a letter from the DA giving them permission to grow wheat. On 13.08.02 they were told to remove their equipment and that they would be compensated for growing the wheat. The farmers are pursuing legal channels. Chipinge - On Lushoff Farm an electric motor for the dairy pump was stolen as well as one calf. The Land Task Force are visiting various farms, to find out why farmers are still working.
Chimanimani - all quiet.
Burma Valley - On 09.08.02 there were labour strikes on four farms in Burma Valley and one farmer and his wife were barricaded in their farmhouse. The labour demands 100% pay increase. The farmers contacted the Ministry of Labour, NEC and the Police. There were strikes all weekend and the farmers decided not to work on 14.08.02 and went to see the Ministry of Labour and ZANU PF. The authorities agreed the strike was illegal and the DA was inundated with phone calls demanding to know why there were no bananas in Mutare. Ministry of Labour, ZANU PF, the labour and the farmers met 15.08.02 to try and resolve the issue.
Mutare - all quiet.
Odzi - The Land Task Force went to various farms over the long weekend and asked farmers why they were still farming. The farmers approached said the group were very amenable.
Nyanga - Two farmers have been told to move off their farms by 19.08.02 and they are not allowed to take anything with them. When another farmer was approached, he informed the delegation he was awaiting confirmation of his subdivision.
Rusape - On the night of 10.08.02, Mr & Mrs DUP Muller awoke at 1am with their house on fire. Mr Muller radioed his son for help and they managed to salvage two vehicles and three deep freezes. The rest was totally destroyed. Mr Muller has had his eyes damaged from the fire; the doctors are hopeful that he will fully recover. At present they are staying with their son.
Headlands – The OIC is going around verifying Section 8's. Theft of irrigation pipes and crops is still ongoing. ZFTU are still trying to extort money from farmers.
Nyazura - There is plenty of stock theft, theft of wire, irrigation equipment etc. The poaching is worsening, and is not confined to the settlers, as the labour sell the goods for money to buy food. There have been strikes on some farms, where the workers demand the farmers provide mealie meal, which is not available.
No report received.
Beatrice - Theft is rife. Some items stolen include five pickup wheels, T.V, and car radio. Five Section 7 Notices received.
Bromley/Ruwa - No report received.
Enterprise - No report received.
Featherstone - No report received.
Harare South - four Section 5 Notices received. General labour problems with regards to severance packages. Theft ongoing. One farmer had the tap on his dam opened and lost a considerable amount of water.
Macheke/Virginia - Labour strikes ongoing at various farms where labour demand S.I. 6. One farmer had 5 bales of tobacco stolen. Another farmer had 13 irrigation pipes stolen. One farmer reported "war vets” were looting the farm village: police attended but no arrests were made.
Wedza - On one farm where the owner and son in law vacated their homesteads, both homesteads were broken into. Labour problems continue with workers demanding S.I.6
Marondera South - A farmer and his wife were barricaded in their house from 10.00am until 6.00pm on 16.08.02. They went to pay out half of the S.I.6 package (this had been agreed to by the labour) the balance to come when the tobacco was sold. The labour refused to sign for it.
No report received.
Norton - On Riverside Farm the owner was given a magazine containing an article about someone who had been killed. The bits about the incident were underlined. The person who gave him the magazine wants to move into his home. Other farmers in Norton were phoned by the police to ask whether they knew of who had Section 8 Orders.
Selous - There have been various threats, but no serious moves to evict farmers from their homes at this time.
Chegutu - There have been threats certain individuals will be targeted for eviction, but at this stage this has not happened. On Just Right Farm Gilbert Moyo has stolen the irrigation pipes after threatening the owner. Police and C.I.O also detained the owner for three hours because he had taken video footage of his assets on his property. The argument from C.I.O was that it was not his property any longer because there was a Section 8 Order on it. They said that if he wanted to video the property of the state he had to get police clearance. He was also accused of poisoning the water in the borehole, but was able to resolve this on site by drinking the water from the borehole. On Farnham "A"the owner was faced with a noisy group armed with sticks wanting him to pump more water for them. On Oldham Gilbert Moyo came to ask for cash or building materials.
Suri-Suri - On Kufaro Farm settlers moved into the main homestead over the weekend.
Battlefields/Kadoma - On Overlaw Ranch the owner’s wife was told by Mr Shumba from the Kadoma lands committee that he wanted to move into her home, and that she would become a martyr if she stayed in it. On Railway Farm 5 settlers approached the police about the owner still being on ”their” farm. Police approached the D.A. who evidently said that they should be evicted despite the fact they are on a single owned farm and they were told by the Governor in the presence of PROPOL, DISPOL and the D.A. amongst others that they should grow a winter crop, and that they would not be evicted. On Pamene Farm settlers threatened the black boots would come in at midnight to evict the owner and his family.
Chakari - On Blackmorvale there was a report that settlers have commandeered the owner’s tractors and all his other equipment. None of the farmers in this association have been allowed to continue production.
Mwenezi - This has been a weekend holiday of intense overseas and local media interest with at least 12 interviews given. The world is trying to understand why developed producing commercial farms are being destroyed as part of an intense racial and political campaign, when the rest of the nation is starving. The period was relatively quiet over the Section 8 deadline period and without the expected sensationalism their interest dropped. On Moria Ranch several months ago, A1 settlers were removed from this productive farm when it was delisted. Part of the farm has fruit orchards and sugar cane under irrigation and the owner had sold another bigger property in Mwenezi to Government as part of a deal. However over the holiday weekend the Ministry of Lands insisted on marking out plots in the irrigation. On complaining to the local MP the manager was told the farm would be split up under the A2 scheme and that eight new owners would move on there and then. The farmer was to be left with only 100 ha irrigation “as that was his core business”. The rest of the ranch is otherwise waterless with water being piped from the Moria Weir. When asked what would happen to the farm’s cattle the MP explained that they would discuss that when they discussed the pumping of the water. The “new owner” of the 2000ha plot at the end of the pipeline (where there is the only grazing left) is no other than the Mwenezi MP himself, I. Shumba who is Deputy Minister of Education and whose Government vehicle is often seen on the property. People settled on Kleinbegin leased out grazing for 2000 head of cattle, which are crowding out the owner’s 300 head left there. Game was poached at a phenomenal rate on this property, which is part of the Bubi River Conservancy. On one night 6 eland and one giraffe were killed with only two eland carcases being transported away and the rest left to rot. Only one borehole remains intact and in working order as the others were sabotaged. The entire settler, cattle and game population drink there and the borehole has now dried up. Thirsty game, which are relentlessly chased by dogs, seek refuge within the security fence and are killed there. More people and livestock are being moved on every day as part of the intimidatory tactic. People are bussed in to LOT 21A in large numbers even though it has been allocated as an A2 settlement area. There is a frantic chopping and clearing and building of houses. The only water on this farm is pumped from a depth of over 100 metres. At Fauna (C.L Von Abo), police were called in to mediate when militant settlers demanded Lister engines (which had been removed for safety after several had been badly damaged) be returned to pump water for the intensive resettlement on FLORA. A compromise was reached and a previous grazing area was released for use by the owner. Settlers promised to supply diesel and pay for pump repairs once the engines were put back. Water is a major problem on all Mwenezi properties and Government has made little effort to assist the people they have settled with water. The Rutenga Ranch ) owner is reports an upsurge in cattle theft on property. The Sonop Ranch owner reports settlers told him to remove cattle off a property which he leases. He also reports alarming accounts of veld fires on property. General Comments - Farm workers who had paid the local warlord, Vundukai, in advance on the promise of receiving maize, were sidelined when a government truck delivered maize at the weekend. Only settlers were allowed to receive maize, and this is one of several deliveries from which the farm workers were excluded over the past month. Some farm workers have only been able to access less than 10kg of maize per month to feed themselves and their families.
Chiredzi – the Pastoral Investments owner was asked by Dispol Chiredzi to report at the Police Station on 15/8/02 at 10:00am. Owner reported and a situation where an A2 settler accused owner of cutting cane was resolved. At Eureka Ranch a delegation approached the owner on 14/8/02 enquiring which 2000 hectares the owner would like to retain. There is ongoing destruction occurring on B.J.B Ranch The owner is losing cattle at an alarming rate.
Masvingo East & Central – a Government vehicle arrived on Dromore Farm (over the weekend and enquired from owner if he was still on property and if owner had suffered any damages.
Gutu/Chatsworth – the Condor owner had 350 head of cattle locked in a kraal for approximately 50 hours with minimal access to water and no access to grazing. Settlers were demanding owner remove cattle from paddocks. Situation was temporarily resolved when SPCA and Dispol were called in. an ongoing labour dispute that has taken place at Bath Farm over the last week has finally been resolved with the help of a NEC representative from Harare.
No report received.
Five farmers were charged this morning at the Gwanda Magistrate’s Court under Section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act. They have been given bail of ZW$5000 each and the case set for 06.09.02. Since then further farmers have been arrested and held at various police stations within Nyamandlovu, Gwaai and Shangane. Although farmers have reported to Plumtree, there have been no news of arrests.
Morale is still good.