|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Dear SirsI write to you in urgent appeal for your help and intervention.HAVING WON A COURT ORDER A FORTNIGHT AGO ALLOWING ME TO CONTINUE FARMING, I FIND THAT I NOW FACE A DILEMMA:Dr Ignatius Chombo, Minister of Local Government and my local Member of Parliament attended a meeting of people at Katawa (a village close by) at about 5pm this evening and has given an instruction that I as owner of Erewhon farm as well as the farmers on Chinomwe Estate and Nyarugwe Farm are to be removed from our farms this week by Zanu PF youth with the assistance of the local war vet Kangachepi. In addition, IF MY staff resist this eviction, Dr Chombo has threatened to send the Black Boots (Police paramilitary support unit) to beat up my staff.As you are aware, on several occasions I have been severely harrassed by Minister Chombo and his youth as well as the war vets in our area. I have been abducted, beaten, given 3 hours to get off my farm, attempted abduction again in February 2002, Police tried to arrest me for being a "Tsvangeson" (name used by Zanu for MDC political party leader) and for being part of a Community radio support unit while fellow farmers were arrested for helping monitors during the elections. I was arrested and put in jail under false charges on 18 May 2002 and am yet to be summonsed to face these trumped up charges.I made an urgent application to the High Court and Justice Chinhengo set aside my Notice of Preliminary Acquisition (Section 5) and the Acquisition Order (SECTION 8 ) issued in respect of my property known as Erewhon farm on 3 July 2002. It should be noted that the Attorney- General gave instructions that this matter was not to be opposed in a letter dated 2 July 2002. Government therefor consented to setting aside the two orders.A copy of this Order has been served on the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement as well as the Commissioner of Police and the Officer-in-charge Chinhoyi Police station.I stress that I am therefore legally within my rights to continue farming.On Tuesday last week four men arrived on the farm saying they were messengers for Dr Chombo. They identified themselves as Ronald Chakadenga, John Phiri, Kangachepi, and a driver, in a Toyota Land Cruiser Reg no 785 412H. THheir message was that I was to pack and leave my farm and their intention was to intimidate myself and my staff into leaving. I presented Mr Ronald Chakadenga with a copy of my High Court Order to give to the Minister of Lands as well as the Minister of Local Government. He promised to give it to the Minister.It is unfortunate that the Minister of Local Government, Dr Chombo, in addressing the meeting today 14 July 2002 considers himself above the law and has instructed his party cadres to disobey the High Court and proceed with an eviction which is clearly illegal.THere are a number of critical issues here:1 Dr Chombo has issued an instruction to his war vetS and Zanu PF youth which is clearly in contempt of the High Court of Zimbabwe.2 Dr Chombo has warned my staff that if they try to stop the Youth from evicting me, he will send in the Black Boots to beat them UP. Dr Chombo clearly believes that he is above the law and can issue instructions to the Police Force which are unlawful. He expects the Police Force to uphold his instruction and not the letter of the Law.3 Dr Chombo has indicated that he intends to settle the old people of the community on my farm but that my staff are not to leave until they are paid their wages and benefits. There seems to be no provisions for my staff after I have been evicted.There are clear INJUSTICES here:a Both my staff and their families and my family and myself would prefer to continue farming. The families of my workforce have at their disposal a clinic, schooling and job security and they have a permanent roof over their heads. We do not wish to be illegally evicted from our homes. My staff do not require retrenchment as we currently farm legally.b It is of background interest to note that this farm, in The Sunday Mail of 2 June 2002, was allocated to Mrs B Chanetsa, National Registration Number 63-439411-F, the wife of the Mashonaland West Governor, Mr Peter Chanetsa as well as to M Mudukuti, National Registration Number 63-640588-B with address P O Box 25 Ruwa. By re-allocating the farm to a different group of people, Dr Chombo is overriding the Ministry of Lands decision to allocate the farm to the above mentioned people, albeit this has now been rendered illegal by the cancelling of acquisition orders.c In the event that Dr Chombo does not wish to overrule the Ministry of Lands decision, he HAS mislead his constituents into believing that he intends to help them obtain land.I plead for your help in bringing this issue to a JUST conclusion and to help me ensure that my as possible 340 staff, myself and our families are allowed to keep our jobs, our homes and our lives intact. I also ask that this matter be publicised as widely as possible as we firmly believe that Dr Chombo cannot remain above the law for ever!Yours sincerelyJEAN SIMONEREWHON FARMTEL: 0667-354Cell: 091-229144