Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 17 May
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.
Chimanimani - Charleswood Estate one cow was
snared but released by the snare setter who is a worker of a "war vet". The
snare setter has been arrested and taken to the police. The dispute with the
canal and the ploughed lands has been resolved for the moment, rye grass has
been planted and the canal has been unblocked.
There has been a lot of wire theft. Two major recovery operations have taken
place which have been very successful in arresting the culprits as well as the
recovering the wire. The Police have been very co-operative.
- All other areas are quiet at the moment.
Horseshoe – the owner of Nyamsewe
successfully negotiated the release of his possessions with the DA and payment
to the settlers, but is not allowed to reap his coffee crop, as he is considered
'too political'. Whilst in the process of trying to trash the house of the
foremen on Camsasa, the local "war vet" leader was laid out by the wife of the
resident and is now the laughing stock of the district. Nothing else of
consequence to report.
Beatrice – "war vets" want to move into owners’ houses
on various farms. Owners’ are told to vacate properties. Three dairy cows were
slaughtered. A husband and wife were locked in their home and all vehicle and
tractor keys taken away. Police reacted and had the house unlocked and the keys
to one pickup returned. There was a house break-in and the dog poisoned. It
was also reported three other houses had break-ins on the same night. Theft is
on the increase. 100 people arrived at the gate of one farm making demands,
which was later resolved by ZRP.
Harare South - Demands were
made of a farmer that all his livestock be removed immediately and settlers paid
for dipping and injections they have given to the owner’s cattle. One owner
moved off all his personal belongings and has started to remove equipment
Macheke/Virginia - three calves were
axed; one had to be destroyed. One Section 8 received. One ongoing work
stoppage with no police reaction.
Wedza - Another farm
received a Section 8 Order.
MASHONALAND WEST (NORTH)
Karoi – whilst the owner of a
farm was on leave, over 20 ton's of maize was stolen from the land by settlers
who have been resident on this farm since August 2001. On 04.04.02, the manager
noticed the settlers helping themselves to the maize situated next to the barn
complex. He immediately reported the case to the Karoi police station. Inspector
Taderera took the report but there was no follow up, as they apparently had no
vehicle available to respond. The settlers returned on 08.04.02 and began
helping themselves to the maize. This time the manager called on H.F.S.A (the
local security firm in this area) to respond. They came to the farm with a
Sergeant Gapa from the Karoi police force, but did no investigating or any
follow up, but merely warn the settlers they should not steal the maize as it
did not belong to them. On the 13.04.02, the settlers were back again, and again
the manager reported to H.F.S.A, who returned once more with Sgt. Gapa. This
time apparently the settlers were in the land helping themselves when the police
arrived. When the manager pointed this out, all the police did was to go the
edge of the land and report they saw nobody.
Another farm reported that, in an effort to see a way forward, and prevent
piece-meal scratching as farming methods, the owner organised a meeting of all
settlers on the farm for 10.05.02. A few pitched up, but the more senior
individuals boycotted the meeting. No real headway was made as a result, and
demands were made the owner do all their land -prep for free etc. A "settler"
in a twin-cab, suit, rimless glasses and cell phone arrived to say no such plans
could be made, and the meeting ended. An hour or so later, these settlers drove
a large herd of the owner’s cattle from the farm up to the house in an attempt
to get them into the fence! The owner had locked the gates in the mean time,
and then held amicable discussions with a couple of semi-inebriated town folk
and agreed to have a meeting to resolve the matter on 18.05.02. Whereupon they
returned the cattle to the dip and left quietly.
Norton – the situation regarding farm owners along
Porta road is unchanged. Settlers stopped the removal of ZW$ 12 million worth of
chickens from a farm. No one is allowed to grow wheat and pegging continues in
lands earmarked for wheat.
Selous – no tobacco seedbeds
appear to be growing at this stage.
Chegutu – on Faun Farm
the Deputy Minister of Justice continues to exert his power unjustly by
commandeering the owner’s tractors, pipes, boreholes etc. This is a single
owned farm and the owner has nowhere else to go. A Section 8 was received, as
with most single owned farms in the region.
Suri-Suri – On
Sigaro Farm, "war vet" Iphram Chipamba produced a letter from the Chief Lands
Officer, Jo Mapfumu, stating he was the caretaker. He demanded the key to the
house. When this was refused, he broke a window and forced open the door. A
fence was also broken.
Chakari – On Tawstock Farm the owner
employed 14 guards to look after the maize. Gangs of thieves still try stealing
the maize. They are given community service when caught and fined, but come
straight back to steal. On Dewares Farm the owner is not allowed to plant
wheat. It is his only farm and he has previously sold two farms to government.
Mr. Marimo of the President’s office has a plot on Dewares and he has verbally
abused and threatened the owner. The following day he sent three tractors from
DDF to plough and says he wishes to plough in the owner’s paprika. Nobody is
allowed to plant wheat in the Chakari Farmer’s Association.
– many farms are overrun by settler farmers using the land illegally.
Some farm owners have turned to mining in order to make a living, and most
mining operations have to pay a “tribute” extorted by "war vets". The Deputy
Minister of Justice is now the sole gold buyer in the area. Two owners have
managed to put in wheat.
Battlefields – a Support Unit
vehicle with army and police details visited Overlaw Ranch and told him to
vacate his home. They said the citrus orchard was not allowed to be reaped by
the owner. The same vehicle and personnel also tried to stop winter cereal
planting on another farm. Only two owners have been able to go ahead with
General – there is great concern about the
Section 8s issued to nearly all white-owned farms. It is confusing that the
same people who are trying to get farmers to grow wheat, are now making those
same farmers criminals punishable for up to two years in prison if they continue
to grow after June 25, 2002.
There are still ongoing problems throughout
this region. A full report will be available in the next sitrep.
At Mooiriver Estate Private Limited, demands
to make a deal have been made for farmers to plant settlers’ winter wheat. Not
interested. On Dekel Private Limited, bush clearing has started again. Farmers
are still unable to plant and are awaiting confirmation from D.A. Machakwe
Estates Private Limited reports the owner is still waiting confirmation from
D.A. to plant his winter wheat. Nine cattle were moved on to property by
settlers. Maize theft by stationed settlers on neighbouring farms. Bonsted, Die
Wevelde, Long Valley and New Farm owners are trying to assist
their planting, lent an irrigation pump for their use and within the settlers’
committee, one of these people stole their own pump +- ZW$ 500 000.00. On Beta
Farm Private Limited, poaching continues in the Game
No report received.
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