|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
· In Featherstone, pressure against farmers to pay terminal benefits to workers is ongoing. Efforts to get police to react are frustrating as they are clearly very reluctant to get involved. The following two farms are the latest victims: Oasis and Aston labour went on strike, demanding terminal benefits from owners, who were blocked from leaving. "War vets", who are the driving force behind these demands, threatened to sell owners’ cattle if demands were not met, with a cut of the proceeds going to themselves as “commission”.
· Nyabira - A ZTV report on 26.02.02 stated 1000 cattle had been deliberately driven into 500 acres of settlers’ maize on Inkomo farm. The owner says he has settlers on the farm, who have less than 5 ha under cultivation, of which only 0,5 ha is maize. The maize is drought stricken. It is believed the incident occurred on the next door farm, but confirmation of details is awaited. The reports of 500 acres of settlers’ maize is highly exaggerated.
· The owner of Maidavale, Kadoma, who was beaten unconscious at the beginning of the month by settlers, has now been released from hospital. He went to the police in Kadoma to inform them he would be returning to the farm. The settlers were waiting for him when he arrived and he had to do some creative driving to avoid another beating.
· Five sheep have been stolen from Bonsted, Kwekwe, forcing the owner to make a kraal for the flock inside the homestead area. “War vets” reacted by threatening to cut the fence and threatened the owner’s life, for the second time.
· DDF tractors are active, ploughing in Chimanimani and Tengwe.
· Palm River Ranch, Masvingo, reports two "war vets" and approximately 30 old men demanded compensation of 30 head of cattle from the owner. They claim that, fifty years ago, the owner’s father had used their oxen for the making of dams and they had never been paid for the use of their oxen. This is the second time this claim has been made and the owner has again managed to deflect it until after elections.
· Alstar Haven, Masvingo, finally obtained a permit from National Parks to move game out of a specified paddock. From 43 wildebeest only 13 remained; 14 sable, none remained; 12 Zebra, 3 remained and the two remaining giraffe were still there. The Base Commander had shot all the “missing“ animals.
General - All other areas are very quiet at the moment. More Section 8's were issued last week.
Chimanimani - DDF tractors were ploughing on Charleswood Estate yesterday, 27.02.02. The DA's office is bringing in maize from the GMB and are selling it at ZW$ 900-00 a bag, with the selling very selective. American Observers were in the area 27.02.02, and were very interested as to what is going on Rusape - Ongoing political meetings in the area.
Bindura - There are ongoing labour disputes where demands are made for the owners to pay gratuities and severance packages.
Centenary - Many of the farms in the area have stopped working today as all labour had been ordered to attend a rally in Mvurwi.
Horseshoe - On the 26/2/02 on Makombe Farm, "war vets" and Zanu (PF) youth demanded transport for President Mugabe’s forthcoming star rally. They threatened the owner that non-compliance meant he would be removed from his farm within the hour. He vacated the farm. The following day a vehicle with the "CAMPFIRE" logo arrived on the farm carrying several occupants. They informed the farmer that the DA in Guruve had given them permission to shoot 20 animals in the game enclosure on the farm. The DA was not reachable and the police were informed but, as yet, have not responded. On Manovi Farm the "war vets" demanded transport be provided as at Makombe, the farm lorry was in Harare on farm business. The "war vets" then threatened the owner with violence if the lorry was not returned to the farm for their use. They have prevented the owner from watering or reaping the banana crop and they have not reaped or sold any of the crop, which is rotting in the fields. On Rungudzi Farm the "war vets" continue to demand the remaining workers vacate the farm and all requests made to the ZRP have not resolved the issue.
Beatrice - Minor incidents with Zanu (PF) youth.
Enterprise/Bromley/Ruwa – nothing to report.
Harare South – at Nyatsime/Walmer Zanu (PF) youths are using the Motor Cross Clubhouse as a base. They forced the young farm workers to attend a pungwe that lasted until 0300. Mcb’s were stolen. At Nyambiri 4 mcb’s were stolen off boreholes. Mashonda reports Agritex and five others told the owner they were pegging for A2 resettlement. At Swallowfield mcb’s and starters were stolen. On Albion a calf was slaughtered and removed. A further report states about 20–30 youths in a lorry stopped at a bottle store and then started harassing traffic on the main road. The Beatrice police were informed who said they would react when they had transport. Rainham Farm reports the youths came to the homestead demanding food for a rally. The owner refused. They demanded money instead, which he gave them after pressure. They have left 10 youths on the farm and moved off. The 10 youths have caused a work stoppage and held a pungwe at the school on the premises. Still ongoing.
Featherstone - Pressure against farmers to pay terminal benefits to workers is ongoing. Efforts to get police to react are frustrating who are clearly very reluctant to get involved. The following two farms are the latest victims: Oasis and Aston labour went on strike, demanding terminal benefits from owners, who were blocked from leaving. In a situation reminiscent of Beatrice/Harare South recently, "war vets", who are the driving force behind these demands, threatened to sell owners’ cattle if demands were not met, with a cut of the proceeds going to themselves as “commission”.
Macheke/Virginia - Springs Farm reports ongoing problems with pegging and hut building. This is an unlisted farm. The incidences were reported to all authorities and the DA with nothing done about the situation to date. B and K Estates states Agritex officials are pegging on the farm. Journeys End had cattle pushed into "war vets" maize. The police and "war vet" Matatsi's men were collected from Macheke, and the matter resolved with farmer paying five bags of maize in compensation. In addition, three heifers were stolen, reported on C.R. number 3112. Nyadora Farm had the Zanu (PF) youth brigade marching up and down the road in front of the house at 0330 hrs, chanting party slogans.
Marondera North - Warwick still reports poaching with weapons and dogs, and the police say they will react. There is on going voter education and intimidation in the area.
Marondera South - Stow Farm has been re invaded and the surrounding farms told they must supply food
Wedza – the robbery of the workshop at Igudu last week during the owners absence, it now comes to light the entire workshop was cleaned out, including a motorbike, welder, compressor and gas welder. The farm lorry went to obtain fuel this morning and was stopped and the driver told the fuel belonged to the Government. The owner was told he must be off the farm 28.2.02. and he must go and see the DA if he wants an extension to stay on the farm. The settlers are demanding the owner brings back his irrigation pipes so they can use then. At Iamba MCB's stolen yet again on 25.02.02. On Boisserain, settlers tried to stop the owner making silage. Agritex came and pegged Raleigh into 13 plots of approx. 90 ha each. On 22.2.02 the owner of Msasa had a visit from a Richard Madavu who said he would be moving on to the farm in March with 150 head of cattle and also to start land preparation. When it was pointed out to him the farm was not listed he became argumentative and abusive. The owner has been to his lawyer and received a letter to give to Mr. Madavu when he returns. The Imire settlers are claiming ZW$ 20 000-00 from Eldoret and ZW$ 20 000-00 from Idube for damage to maize by eland. Extortion for maize damage is ongoing on several farms. "War vet" Murewa is at Skoonveld asks every day why the owner is using the barns and other facilities, claiming these no longer belong to him and generally making a nuisance of himself. Bita reports 3 MCB's stolen from the barn area very close to where the police are stationed, who heard and saw nothing. In general, two MDC activists were caught distributing leaflets on Bristol during the night on 27.02.02. They were badly beaten, then marched to Iamba where they were beaten again. They were taken to Eldoret, which is now a Zanu (PF) youth camp and interrogation house for the area. The OIC and second in command from Wedza reacted extremely well. Within a very short time of receiving the report they managed to get the two victims out and back to Wedza Police station. While at the camp the activists would not admit they had been beaten but told the OIC in his office information necessary to arrest two men from the camp and three others from Iamba, which was done later in the morning. The police also reported blood on the floor and walls of the interrogation house and other signs of previous beatings. The two beaten men are now in hospital. An illegal road block was again put up on the Watershed Road on 25.02.02.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Trelawney/Darwendale – on 20.02.02, Zanu (PF) youths and settlers held a meeting at Kutama store. They then broke through the gate at Kutama workshop and demanded transport to Darwendale from the farm manager, which was refused. The group then moved up the road to Harefield Farm, where they again demanded transport from the manager, which was also refused. The manager said he would call the owner, who addressed the group and also refused to provide transport. The group blocked any movement in or out of workshop area, the time being shift change-over time, and threatened to burn the tractors. The group moved away a short distance and the owner called the labour to resume their work. The group surrounded the owner in an aggressive manner - one threatened him with his life, another kicked him in the abdomen and his video camera was taken from him. The owner’s son, on a neighbouring farm, was informed by the manager and contacted the police at 1500. He went to Harefield to assist and was stoned upon his arrival. He retreated whilst still being stoned and the passenger window was broken (a rock was thrown through the driver’s open window, the driver ducked and it smashed the window on the other side). The son went back to the neighbouring farm, where he met the neighbour on the road and both started to return to the workshop area. The group left the owner and gathered at the beerhall, which is their base. The police arrived at 1600, spoke to the group but did not approach the owner. Darwendale police station gave out a CCR number and said they will investigate.
Ntsinje Pa Gomo Farm has had continued problems with a group of 10 men claiming they are the new owners of the farm. This farm has had no resident settlers and the normal day-to-day meetings with the Zanu (PF) youth started on 12.01.02 January, with the standard procedure followed with demonstrating the party slogan, toyi-toyiing and the extortion of money in the form of bonuses were demanded from farmer. Carlton Curlieu Farm has had repeated problems with the head settler from the neighbouring farm, Shoko, accusing the labour of witches in their midst. After lengthy deliberation the owner agreed to collect a certified N'anga (witchdoctor) to cleanse the farm village. In total the owner has lost three tobacco reaping days and five days in the roses as a result of strikes called. The owner warned his labour that accusations of witch-craft are illegal and the accuser can be prosecuted.
Raffingora -Incident 1: On 20.02.02, a robbery on a farm occurred where a Yamaha 350 motor bike, two boat trailer wheels and a car radio were stolen during the night. The police were notified and an RRB number issued. One wheel was later recovered in the bush.
Incident 2: After a Field Day held on a farm, 19.02.02, the participants held a social. On leaving, they encountered chopped trees across the road and a group of Zanu (PF) youths tried to stop vehicles. Stones and rocks were thrown at the vehicles, four were damaged, one seriously – windscreen and side windows broken. The remaining vehicles got through unharmed. Police Raffingora responded and an RRB number issued.
Incident 3: On 22.02.02, a farm reported a borehole electric motor stolen in the early hours of the morning, and it is suspected this was by the same people as incident 1.
Incident 4: feedback from the Raffingora Township – Star Rally, 23.02.02, were threats to peg and settle a farm with 200 people. The owner notified the observers/monitors. Several intimidating threats were made about other farmers.
Incident 5: there were reports of road blocks at Chinomwe tar road intersection, on 24.02.02 where Zanu (PF) youths tried to stop people attending the MDC Rally in Chinhoyi. They were dispersed by mid-day.
Incident 6: stocks and valuables were removed from the local club after information it could be under threat in the future.
Incident 7: All the youth who have been attending the previous weekend pungwes held on several farms during the last month were paid ZW$ 1,000.00 each at a local farm.
Incident 8: there was a farm report of theft of a red Honda 125 motor bike. This was tracked to the tar road heading in the direction of Banket.
In general, there has been an increase in strangers and Zanu (PF) youth watching every move on the farms. Zanu (PF) has been active in intimidating labour forces and owners. There is a serious shortage of rainfall now, with a total of 29 mm for February and maize crops have been severely affected.
Umboe - Temperley Farm owner was asked to report to the DA's office in Chinhoyi on 18.02.02 to answer to DA about charges made by "war vet" Korie the owner had “paid off “the DA. in company of liaison team discussion was held, where the charges were denied.