via CFU urges investigation of farm-based murders since 2000 | The Zimbabwean 23.05.14 by Sofia Mapuranga
Charles Taffs, the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) president, today urged the police to investigate murders that have taken place on farms since the start of the fast track land redistribution programme in 2000.
President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on the unplanned exercise purportedly to resettle land hungry Zimbabweans but most of the prime farmland ended up in the hands of the ruling elite.
About 5,000 white commercial farmers were violently displaced during the land blitz and most of them are yet to receive compensation for improvements on their farms.
Speaking to journalists at the organisation’s headquarters in Harare this morning while giving his solidarity message following the recent fatal attacks on Malcolm and Catherine Francis, a Guruve farming family, Taffs urged the police to ensure that the attackers were brought to book.
No arrests have been made so far. “We understand that the police are working hard and they are investigating the murder,” he said.
Taffs reminded relevant authorities to bring to justice perpetrators of murders committed over the past 14 years under the guise of land redistribution.
He lamented the continued expropriation of land, property and other assets without any compensation from law abiding citizens and said this was affecting the country’s agricultural production and economy.
Malcolm and Catherine were attacked by yet unknown assailants on May 10 and he passed on, on Tuesday while his daughter succumbed to the wounds she sustained on Wednesday last week.
“We condemn this cowardly attack on an elderly man and a young woman and its barbaric brutality in the strongest of terms. We find these actions wholly unacceptable to us as a civilised nation,” said Taffs.
He said his organisation was “troubled by the silence of the authorities and the country’s leadership regarding the murder of the two.”
“We are left wondering whether this crime was not sanctioned or condoned by some higher office. Law abiding citizens have faced the selective application of the law and in many cases the total absence of the protection of the law,” said Taffs.
He said there was need to for Zimbabweans to work together to find a lasting solution to the crises Zimbabwe was facing and urged solidarity in the fight against hatred and violence.
The CFU president called on government to work with farmers and other sectors of the economy to create a vibrant economy.
In a related development, the CFU is appealing for donations towards the Francis Medical Support Fund, whose aim is to assist the late Malcolm’s relatives pay for medical expenses incurred during the hospitalisation of the two deceased victims and the relocation of the wife.
“The late Malcolm and Catherine spent a week and more in the intensive care unit and the family has been left with a huge debt of medical aid shortfalls and extra expenses which they cannot pay,” said Taffs.
Account details for the donation are as follows:
Francis Medical Support
Account number: 0240026089502