I'm afraid I spoke too soon by half --- it was indeed the lull before the storm -- we are now embroiled in a total reign of terror -- the likes of which no sane person should have to experience. The emphasis appears to have switched for the time being from the white commercial farmer, to his workers, and it is HORRIFIC, and country-wide ------------ we now have a marauding gang of >500 just to the north of us, systematically invading every farm, beating up and burning our labour, raping the school children, and helping themselves to livestock and anything edible OR MOVEABLE-- police standing back and watching, and we are HELPLESS , and POWERLESS to protect them (our Labour, -- NOT THE POLICE) ------ despite ALL the assurances that violence was to stop, it has in fact increased, and I have a ghastly feeling that even the hierarchy and original perpetrators no longer have control, and that we are indeed experiencing real anarchy --- all our friends to the north had fortunately evacuated or were away when their "re-education"of their labour occurred, and is still in progress as I write -- we hope to God the pets are OK, but we know the workers are having a terrible time (neighbour has climbed a hill nearby as an observation post) ---- we now believe the presedential guard (notorious 5th brigade responsible for the Matebeleland atrocities are involved) --- well organised, systematic "neutralisation" of any POSSIBLE opposition prior to the election -- no wonder he has not announced a date -- he will do so once his cohorts report that ALL opposition has been sufficiently nullified --- meanwhile ?? the UK govt is entertaining a delegation of these savages to talk about equitable land distribution and aid for it when all this is going on ????? too incredible for words --- HONESTLY, IF BRITAIN PARTS WITH ONE PENNY BEFORE PROPERLY MONITORED ELECTIONS ARE HELD, AND CONDITIONAL TO IMMEDIATE RETURN TO LAW AND ORDER, AND IMMEDIAE CESSATION OF INTIMIDATION OF THE (RURAL) ELECTORATE, SHE WOULD BE BETRAYING ALL THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY. This so-called Land question is a pure smoke screen, and SURELY Britain can see the trap?? Support for a Land Plan at this stage is tantamount to another term for this bunch, whereas support for the "hoped-for" new govt would work wonders. IT IS A DESPERATE situation --- surely some of you have access to the "corridors" -- either of power or the media to update them of the position --- no media is allowed anywhere near these farms where the labour is being tortured (cleansed) -- they don't want witnesses, so the media CANNOT be fully aware of what is now occurring -----------------
What of us -- sorrowfully we are on immediate standby to evacuate -- to Harare in the first instance -- all ?? our valuables have already been moved, and the vehicles fully fuelled , spare dog baskets aboard, plus Arnold's spare cage --- our workers are fully briefed, and told to "melt" , hopefully in good time, as we have strategic OP's in place to monitor the direction of the next victim. They have been quietly buryng their possessions, as without doubt their houses will be burnt.
In the meantime while we wait for "our turn", we try and keep some semblance of normality -- we are SO behind with the Soya harvest, and likewise the Wheat preparation --- why DID we decide NOT to grow tobacco this year ?? I wonder. 4 crops have been totally destroyed in their sheds so far --- Auctions started this am -- as predicted ,farmers already being blamed for lack of tobacco on offer !!!! --
We were "visited" on Easter Saturday at 1730 hrs by an "advance party" == nasty 45 minutes ensued, being told I was no longer the owner of "my" farm - it was being "returned" to its rightful owners from which it was "stolen" in 1890 -- "Oh and just in passing, the reason we are harrassing you and will continue to do so, is due to your involvement with the Opposition" -- (quite true) -- so much for democracy, freedom of association, etc etc --- NOT IN AFRICA. Also DO NOT GROW A WHEAT CROP ___ WE WILL BURN IT --- our "comrades" will be arriving soon to "re-educate" your workers ---------- empty threats??? Who can tell. Ending with a demand for a piece of paper stating my total agreement with their demands for all or part of the farm --- sufficiently vague I trust my paper was.
Must end -- radio going berserk ---
We are being as careful as poss under the circumstances -- we just feel so utterly helpless --- its nice having 'X' back from his grand time in 'W', but I wish he would have stayed for another week -- he wouldn't hear of it !!
'X, Y and Z'
P.S I have just read back and realise how "down" we all are here --- sorry!