HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Squatters occupying farmland in Zimbabwe attacked a white farmer Tuesday, slashing at his face with a machete and seriously wounding him, officials said.
Attackers cut through Marshall Roper's nose and into the roof of his mouth, officials said. The 37-year-old was evacuated to the capital, Harare, from his tobacco and corn farm 125 miles northwest, and was in stable condition and out of danger after surgery.
The attack prompted about 4,000 farm workers and more than 60 white families to demonstrate Tuesday outside the police station in the provincial town of Karoi. The protesters demanded the arrest of Roper's assailants, said the Commercial Farmers Union, saying the attackers' identities were known.
Landowners were also demanding the arrest of 12 farm occupiers who allegedly tried to prevent Roper and his black workers from planting tobacco on his 3,600-acre property.
Late Tuesday, the union reported that at least four occupiers and three farm workers who clashed with Roper's attackers in an attempt to defend him were arrested. Police were unavailable to confirm this.
Since February, militants led by veterans of this southern African nation's independence war that ended white rule in 1980 have occupied more than 1,700 white-owned farms across the country. President Robert Mugabe has backed the occupations, describing them as ``a minor trespass.''
About 4,000 white farmers own a third of the nation's productive land.
Earlier Tuesday, the Justice Ministry said a suspect in the murder of a white farmer was arrested on Friday, five months after the slaying. Douglas Chitekuteku, 41, described as a war veteran, is accused of shooting dead David Stevens after he was abducted from his farm east of Harare on April 15.
Stevens was the first of five white farmers killed in the first months of the occupations. Political violence at the same time, leading up to parliamentary elections in June, left at least 31 people dead and thousands homeless, most of them opposition supporters.
Chitekuteku was arrested Friday and appeared in court in the provincial town of Marondera, 45 miles east of Harare on Monday. He is set to appear in court again on Oct. 10 on murder charges.
No arrests have been made in the four other killings.
26TH September 2000
This constitutes a further briefing on the continued harassment of the MDC leadership, officials and its membership. The behaviour of the police in this whole incident is suspect evident of the involvement of political dirty hands. Unfortunately the public continues to be subjected to a campaign of misinformation directed at trying to create a wrong impression of the MDC and therefore creating a pretext for persecuting, harassment and intimidation of the opposition and its institutions.
Of late there have been government initiated reports in the state owned press and television creating an impression that a member of the MDC security is running away from the law. The facts of the matter are totally different from impression the state media is trying to create. Firstly, the person indicated in the search warrant used to gain entry to the residence of the MDC security officer on 14 September 2000, is Sox Ncube. In spite of this the police went ahead to search the residence of our MDC security officer, Solomon Chikowero. As the public is aware after the search, a search that yielded nothing, Chikowero was taken to Harare central police station and was kept there for over 15 hours. At the police station he was questioned and he supplied detailed information about himself including his personal mobile phone number and the details of his place of work. After this Chikowero was released without any charge.
We assume that Chikowero was therefore free to go about his duties and indeed he was delegated duties to do. We are therefore surprised to read from the Sunday government papers that Chikowero is running away from the law. I wish to confirm that as of this morning no inquiries have been made by the police at the MDC offices regarding his whereabouts. I further confirm that on reading the Sunday papers Chikowero surrendered himself to the officer commanding homicide, Harare central police, Supt. Kurumba on Monday September 25, 2000. It was agreed between Supt. Kurumba and the investigating officer, Assistant Commissioner Matema that Chikowero returns to Harare central police at 8 o'clock on the morning of September 26, 2000.
The MDC was therefore surprised to see on the evening television news the picture of Chikowero and the reference to him as a dangerous and armed criminal. We believe that the dirty arm behind this police action is bent on creating a pretext for shooting down Chikowero on sight and therefore avoid bringing Chikowero to prove his innocence before a duly constituted court of law. The action of the police in this matter leaves a lot be desired. The MDC believes that the police should be professional in its conduct and resist the dirty hands of those in the state that are bent on abusing the state apparatus in order to maintain their hold on power.
We maintain that the search on the MDC offices and the residences of its officers yielded nothing. The dirty hands of the state behind this plot against the MDC know very well that the government apparatus bombed the MDC offices and that no plans of war or indeed any weapons of war of any sort were found during the police searches.
We view the continued government action as part of its well orchestrated plan to destabilise a legitimately constituted political party and therefore subvert the wishes of the people. We have stated before and wish to state once more again that we reserve the right to mobilise for national mass action in order to end this refusal to by government abide by the laws of this country.
By : M. Tsvangirai
Stay strong, victory is certain!
MDC Technical Support Centre
8th Floor, Gold Bridge
Guqula Izenzo/Maitiro Chinja
"You must live the change you want" (Morgan Tsvangirayi)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- A suspect in the murder of the first of five white farmers killed during the illegal occupation of white-owned land was arrested five months after the slaying, the Justice Ministry said Tuesday.
Douglas Chitekuteku, 41, a veteran of the bush war that ended white rule in 1980, is accused of firing shots that killed farmer David Stevens after he was abducted from his farm east of Harare on April 15.
Chitekuteku was arrested Friday and appeared in court in the provincial town of Marondera, 75 kilometers (45 miles) east of Harare on Monday. Prosecutor Stephen Johwani said Chitekuteku will appear in court again on Oct. 10 on murder charges.
Stevens was the first white farmer killed during a violent campaign by war veterans and ruling party militants to seize white-owned land that began in February.
No arrests have been made in the four other killings. Stevens and two other slain farmers were active supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party.
Stevens was handcuffed by a group of occupiers camped on his farm, assaulted and taken to a district police station. Five farmers from neighboring properties who went to Stevens' aid were assaulted outside the police station by mobs armed with clubs and knives, and Stevens was allegedly dragged away and shot in the head.
Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the opposition party, said Chitekuteku's arrest came amid mounting pressure on the government at home and abroad to take action against violent militants.
Investment and foreign aid dried up after police failed to enforce law and order and stop political violence ahead of parliamentary elections in June that left at least 31 people dead and thousands homeless, most of them opposition supporters.
"The government assumed it would be business as usual after the elections and they could get away with it, but this time people have refused to forget," said Ncube.
Stevens' widow, Maria, was among four opponents of President Robert Mugabe who filed a $ 400 million lawsuit against the Zimbabwe leader earlier this month, accusing him of orchestrating violence and human rights abuses to keep his ruling party in power.
The suit was filed in the United States under the Alien Tort Claims Act, a 211-year-old U.S. law that allows foreigners to file civil charges for alleged crimes that violate international law.
Mugabe has backed illegal occupations of more than 1,700 white-owned farms, describing them as "a minor trespass" protesting unfair land ownership by whites.
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, - let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan; to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.
Abraham Lincoln 2nd Inaugural Address 1865
On Saturday 30th September farmers and their wives in the Trelawney/Darwendale farming area of Zimbabwe are holding a fundraising dinner and musical evening in aid of the Commercial Farmers' Farm Families Trust Fund which has been specifically created to raise monies for those widows and their families whose husbands were murdered in the pre-election violence in Zimbabwe earlier this year.
While many of you no doubt have already heard of this fund and perhaps have already contributed to it, there may be some who haven't and haven't! If you are are one of the latter we would really appreciate an e-mail pledge to HAL@ZOL.CO.ZW which will be followed up in early October by the Trustees of the fund - which is highly transparent and professionally audited - at the CFU offices in Harare - who will be able to instruct you further on payment details etc.
At least two of the widows will be attending the dinner and we would love to be able to show them that there are people all over Zimbabwe and indeed the world who care and who haven't forgotten about their plight. For this reason we would rather see many small pledges coming in from all over than a few large ones. We are hoping that you will forward this letter on to as many people as you think might respond while sending your own e mail pledge (with perhaps a short message of support for the widows) to the address listed above. As a guideline we are hoping for pledges of around ZW$ 500 - ZW$1000, or around 15 pounds Sterling, or US$20. If you are not in a position to pledge please would you just forward this on anyway to a few friends.
Please note that this is a one-off fundraiser from this farming community so we have one week exactly to raise what we can. If you receive this letter AFTER the 30th September please do not forward it further. It will be interesting to see how modern communication technology can work with old fashioned virtues.
Very many thanks for taking the time to read this and we look forward to you e mails in the next seven days.
Harvey and Debbie Leared.
PS if you are interested in finding out the outcome of this appeal please contact the same e-mail address in October.
Simon Rhodes's mother is Margaret Rhodes, 74, first cousin of the Queen and a Lady in Waiting to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. He had hoped to stay in Harare with his wife and two daughters despite having been beaten up by police in April. But the former tourism consultant, who moved to Zimbabwe in 1977, is now seeking work in Britain following the collapse of the tourist trade and the imminent seizure by the Mugabe regime of farmland belonging to his wife's family.
At the request of the Queen, John Parsons, Deputy Keeper of the Privy Purse, is helping to arrange schooling for his daughters - Emma, 14, and Camilla, 10 - who are still in Zimbabwe with their mother. Mr Rhodes, 42, has been staying at his mother's home in Windsor Great Park and with his sister, Annabel Cope, in Bideford, Devon. He now hopes his children and his wife Susan, 40, will join him before the end of the year.
He said his family, like many others, was being forced out of Zimbabwe by the crippling effect of President Robert Mugabe's policies. He said: "The situation is getting worse even though the news story seems to be off the airwave. The farm invasions and occupations by squatters continue. The government is now taking over more than 3,000 private commercial farms - about 75 per cent of the total number."
The attack by four police officers in the back of a Land Rover, in which he was repeatedly punched, happened after he joined a peaceful opposition march. It prompted his mother to complain to the Queen about the breakdown of law.
Mr Rhodes, whose wife's family's farmland has been listed for occupation, said: "Until April, it would never have crossed my mind that I might have to leave."He said he feared the psychological impact of upheaval on his family and other dispossessed Zimbabweans. "My children have known no other life other than being in Zimbabwe. We are getting this bombshell effect of people moving all over the world. Families and friendships are being ruptured and broken."
Mr Rhodes said he was fortunate to have the opportunity to return to Britain and the support of the Royal Family. "Obviously the Queen is concerned about our situation. We are returning here to start again and will be arriving with nothing. We will not be able to remove any assets from Zimbabwe. The Queen has asked one of her aides to provide assistance to find suitable schools for the children. It is nothing other than a family pulling together to support other family members who need help - as any family would."
Mr Rhodes, who will visit the Royal Family's Balmoral residence this week, said he planned to settle in Edinburgh.
Zimbabwe war veterans attack white
September 26, 2000
Web posted at: 1:48 PM EDT (1748 GMT)
HARARE, Zimbabwe (Reuters) -- A white Zimbabwean farmer was injured on Tuesday following a confrontation with war veterans demanding that he stop working on his tobacco plantation, farmers and hospital officials said.
A dozen self-styled war veterans occupying the Perveral Farm in Karoi, 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of Harare, attacked owner Marshall Roper after he and his laborers resisted demands that they stop work, a spokesman for a local farm group said. "One of the veterans then pulled out a machete and slashed him across the face," said the spokesman, who declined to be named. The farm workers were not harmed.
Harare's Avenues Clinic confirmed that a white farmer had been admitted on Tuesday morning, but did not give his name nor details of his injuries.
"We have got such a patient. His injuries are
not life threatening," a hospital spokeswoman said.
No police comment was immediately available.
The incident comes four days after police arrested four white Zimbabwean farmers in an area south of Harare for allegedly inciting violence and mobilizing their workers to evict illegal settlers from their land.
President Robert Mugabe's government has sanctioned hundreds of farm invasions since February by veterans of the 1970s liberation war against white rule.
But last week the government began evicting some of the illegal settlers, targeting those who occupied land after the launch in July of a government resettlement scheme.
Mugabe's government has served notice it will acquire more than 2,000 of the 3,041 white-owned farms earmarked for resettlement and has passed legislation absolving it of responsibility to pay compensation.
Farm industry officials say agricultural production has fallen sharply this year due to work stoppages enforced by the invaders. Agriculture accounts for approximately 20 percent of Zimbabwe's gross domestic product.
At least 31 people - mainly opposition supporters and five white farmers -- were killed during the farm invasions and a wave of violence across Zimbabwe before parliamentary elections narrowly won by Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party.
Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe could have its first independently operated radio station within a month, said the Daily News newspaper, citing Gerry Jackson, one of the owners of Capitol Radio Private Ltd.
The company won the right to operate in a Zimbabwean court last Friday alongside the country's four state-owned radio stations, and plans to broadcast for 18 hours every day. The government has in the past opposed the establishment of privately- owned radio stations.
Equipment for the station, which will provide news and play music, will be imported from South Africa and sourced locally and the station will employ about 25 people.
Still, the government is yet to provide the station with a frequency and has said it will have to meet requirements still to be set by the government.
``Capitol Radio needs to know that there is a difference between being told by the court that they are entitled to broadcast and, in fact, being able to broadcast,'' said Jonathan Moyo, the Minister of State for Information and Publicity in the President's Office. ``They cannot be a law unto themselves.''
(The Daily News, 9/26/2000)
Harare (Zimbabwe Independent, September 22, 2000) - A Spokesman for Thomson Publications, organisers of the annual Zimbex Business and Industrial Trade Exhibition, Dean Thomson, announced this week that the extension of the tobacco selling season into November, the date set for Zimbex, has left them with no option but to cancel the exhibition.
At this late stage, it was not possible to identify a suitable alternative venue giving the same space, facilities and ease of access as the Tobacco Sales Floors, the traditional venue for the exhibition.
government and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.
Democracy 2000 Bill - a temporary reprieve ESCAPING the attention of Zanu PF legislators as they indignantly fulminate on the consequences of the Zimbabwe Democracy 2000 Bill is the fact that the Bill is unlikely to be passed. It has fallen victim to Congress's hectic pre- holiday and election schedule.
The House adjourns on October 6 ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and the Bill is unlikely to have been passed by then. The US poll in November will see, in addition to the election of a new president, elections for one third of Senate seats and for all seats in the House of Representatives.
If the House Committee on International Relations concludes its finishing touches to the Bill and "reports it out" on the floor of the House before October 6 it can pass on a voice vote. But given other pressing business, that is unlikely in the time-frame available.
New legislators will be in place when Congress reconvenes in the New Year.
The Bill will then have to be reintroduced, both in the Senate and the Lower House. But that is unlikely in its present form. The Bill is addressed at issues surrounding Zimbabwe's recent election and is named after the current year. It cannot therefore survive as it stands although it may reappear in modified form.
President Mugabe and regional leaders who lobbied against the Bill in New York recently should not rush to congratulate themselves. This is an entirely logistical matter, not a victory for apologists of tyranny.
The government has mounted a vigorous campaign to suggest that the Bill does not represent African-American opinion, indeed that it is racist. It might therefore be instructive to look at the list of the minority members of the Africa sub-committee who have been supervising the Bill's progress.
Donald M Payne (Democrat, New Jersey), Alcee L Hastings (Democrat, Florida), Gregory W Meeks (Democrat, New York), and Barbara Lee (Democrat, California) would all find the suggestion that they are unable to reach their own conclusions on what is happening in Zimbabwe rather offensive.
But the charge is made by Zimbabwean spokesmen, more out of ignorance than malice. They have convinced themselves, especially after Mugabe's appearance in Harlem, that African-Americans oppose the Bill.
In fact, many Senators and Congressmen and women are unlikely to have given their support to the Bill without it first securing the endorsement of the African-American lobby. They are probably better informed about events in Zimbabwe than any of the delusional characters riding on Mugabe's coat-tails at Mt Olivet Baptist Church.
If it is abandoned, as looks likely, there will not be any significant shift in American policy. So long as President Mugabe and his inner circle persist in holding the law in contempt and sabotaging the economy it will be impossible for the United States to resume support for Zimbabwe.
This week the European Union made clear that it was preparing to drop political contacts with Zimbabwe in the wake of the abandonment of its aid programme. It would not be logical to maintain political dialogue in the absence of an economic partnership, an EU spokesman in London told this paper.
The attack on the offices of the MDC as a pretext for the seizure of documents on membership and strategy will have simply confirmed the impression in Brussels and Washington of a rogue regime desperate to discredit a burgeoning democratic opposition.
Farm invasions, accompanied by threats and violence, continue unabated. The police have now assumed the role of referee between law- abiding citizens on the one hand and law-breakers on the other.
From whatever perspective, Zimbabwe is becoming increasingly isolated internationally. And so long as the underlying reasons for that isolation - the breakdown of law and order, our unpopular involvement in the intractable war in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the usurpation of private property rights - remain in place, it is no use deriving the slightest comfort from legislative developments in Washington.
Copyright 2000 Zimbabwe Independent.
Urgent Situation Report
Tuesday 26th September 2000
Karoi farmer injured by war vets:
The owner of Peveril Place Farm in Karoi, Marshall Roper, was severely injured by war vets this morning. A group of twelve war vets attempted to disrupt the planting of tobacco on the farm. The owner and the farm workers resisted and in the ensuing struggle, one war vet slashed Marshall Roper across the bridge of his nose with a machete. Mr Roper collapsed to the ground and, in fear of his life, fired two shots in the air to disperse the war vets.
Police from Karoi responded and Support Unit was deployed. Mr Roper lost a significant amount of blood, but is in a stable condition in an Harare hospital.
By this afternoon, at least four war vets and at least three farm workers had been arrested in connection with the incident and it is expected that all illegal occupiers will be evicted from Peveril Place Farm.
The surrounding community, angered by the continuing and blatant lawlessness in their district, converged on the Karoi police station to demonstrate their discontent. Farmers, farm workers and the Karoi business community, rising to a very large crowd, united to denounce the disregard for law and order. Dispol for the Karoi district, Superintendent Mabunda, came under personal attack for his role in supporting lawless activity in the area under his jurisdiction. The crowd dispersed by early afternoon, but threatened to continue with mass demonstrations if positive steps are not taken to restore law and order.
Farm Invasions Update
Monday 25th September 2000
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
No regional reports were received from Manicaland, Matabeleland and Masvingo.
Centenary: War vets are moving their cattle onto Montana Farm. Police have been informed but owner is awaiting a response from them.
Shamva: Police responded to the work stoppage at Nyamwanga Farm but did not resolved the issue. The owner has been allowed to take out the present crop but land preparation for next season has been prevented.
Harare West/Nyabira: Police have been informed of the ongoing work stoppage at Berea Farm but there has been no solution as yet.
Mashonaland West (North):
Chinhoyi: There has been a movement of occupiers onto Chengu and Montrose Farms. Poaching is rife in the area. Police are being helpful.
Umboe: Poaching is on the increase, Support Unit has responded.
Ayrshire: There is still a spill-over of trouble from Victory Block.
Trelawney/Darwendale: Cattle are being slaughtered in the area at the rate of one a week, with only the leg being taken for meat.
Banket: Thirty weaners were stolen from Templeton Ranch. Police are following up.
Karoi: General lawlessness prevails, mainly on invaded farms where owners have had to put up with work stoppages, veld fires, theft, snaring and restricted movement of cattle. Irrigation pipes were smashed on one farm and police have so far done nothing.
The following is the full text of an open letter from the Karoi Community to the Commissioner of Police:
"The community of Karoi hereby respectfully requests you to
ensure that, as from today law and order will be properly and legally upheld and
maintained. You and the Police force are charged with this duty in terms of the
Constitution of Zimbabwe as well as the duty of preserving internal security.
You, and members of the police force, on taking office, (swore) to carry our
your duty without fear or favour. It is incumbent upon you to fulfil that role.
Continued failure to maintain law and order tarnishes the reputation off the
police force, something we feel sure you wish to prevent.
Each and every citizen is entitled to have his or her rights protected by the police as guaranteed in our constitution. This is a fundamental right. By ignoring its duty and failing to take steps to maintain law and order, you and your force are aiding and abetting the violation of the rule of law. We require the rule of law to be complied with at all times and in all circumstances.
Continual work stoppages, assaults, intimidating tactics, and blatant unwillingness by the police to react to potentially violent situations, has prompted this open letter to be written.
The District Police Officer, Superintendent Mabunda, has over the last six months acted in a manner which is counter productive and has virtually ignored any directives or policy statements issued by your good offices or by Government. Details of these issues have been on numerous occasions documented and presented to yourself for consideration and for appropriate action to be taken through the recognised chain of command.
Further to this, all past agreements have been broken, ignored, undermined and challenged by the war veterans and the local police leadership. They obviously hold the opinion that agreements made are only for their benefit and well-being and may be changed by them to suit only themselves as and when they feel like it, without regard for the third party or the community at large. In this respect we stress that the local police leadership not only fails to maintain law and order or to obey directives or police statements from you and Government but also has an attitude which brings the police force into disrepute.
It is because of this unacceptable
scenario and total disregard for negotiated agreements that we, the community of
Karoi, including farmers, farm labourers, business persons, workers and
residents will forthwith have to ensure that the Laws of the Country are
complied with and upheld, preferably with your co-operation and assistance.
Thus, the community of Karoi will in particular ensure that :-
Human rights are recognised and protected in every instance.
The police maintain Law and order as set out in the constitution irrespective of the party policies. We quote that the police role is "to preserve the internal security of and maintain law and order" in the country.
Every report made to the police station is correctly and efficiently dealt with in a proper and professional manner as stated in the police charter.
No person or political party is above the law.
Assets, moveable and immovable, are protected under all circumstances. Investments, such as land preparation and water reticulation schemes are utilised by the investor fully and not interfered with under any circumstances.
No work stoppages or interference, which put these investments at risk, will occur.
Persons in breach of the law be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. If necessary the people of this community will institute citizen's arrests if no reaction is taken by the regulating authority in due time.
The judicial system is utilised to take such action as may be necessary against any policeman/woman, irrespective of rank, who refuses or fails to carry our his/her legal and lawful obligation or duty to this community.
This letter is written, as we are most anxious to avert the following:-
Civil strife breaking out between farm labour forces and war veterans. The growing concern amongst farm labourers that their livelihoods and jobs are in jeopardy has sparked potentially violent clashes between the parties.
Further commercial businesses closing.
Further loss of production in the forthcoming crop.
Further labour redundancies.
We wish it to be known that we acknowledge and accept that there should be a more equitable distribution of agricultural land. This should be effected through an organised and regulated system as laid out in the 1998 Donors Conference.
This letter is written without reservation and will be forwarded to relevant sources and interested parties in order that our concerns be heard and addressed.
We exhort you and the local police authority immediately and at all times to adhere to the rule of law, maintain law and order, prevent security from deteriorating and protect human rights. The consequences which may flow from your failure to do so will be solely your responsibility.
In concluding we express the sincere hope that you will give serious consideration to what has been written and will attend to our request as a matter of urgency. A written reply by return setting out your intentions and the steps you intend taking to restore and maintain law and order will oblige."
Mashonaland West (South):
Norton: Two heifers were killed on Friday night at Donnington Farm. On Saturday night the feed pen fence was cut and six feeders are missing from the pens. On Saturday, Mrs Rusike and four henchmen went to Rasper Farm in a very antagonistic manner. Police arrived after they had left.
Suri Suri: Brick houses are now being built on Aitape Farm.
Chegutu: On Leny Farm, workers confronted the D.A., War Vets and senior Airforce personnel when they went out to the farm during last week to do a pegging exercise. The workers allege that Airforce personnel are receiving plots on Leny, and not "the povo" or themselves. The farm owner was verbally abused and has been blamed for inciting his labour against the D.A. and his entourage, an allegation that can be disproved. On Stewartonia Farm about two kilometres of fencing was stolen.
Marondera: Spes Bona, Bali Hai, Ruware Ranch and Malabar have all had an increase in activities such as tree cutting and hut building. Numbers are also increasing on these farms.
Harare South / Featherstone: Yesterday two war vets informed the owner of Dunnotar Farm that they intended to rebuild the base camp on the farm. Support Unit have defused the situation.
Wedza: Poaching and theft is ongoing in the area. Two head of cattle were slashed on Shaka Farm , but survived. Fair Adventure: An invader was caught poaching on Fair Adventure Farm and the rest of the invaders were very upset about this and demanded he be released.
Macheke/Virginia: The war vets went to the Macheke beerhall last night, caused some trouble and were beaten up.
Zvishavane: On Kinsale Farm, workers were chased off the farm for clearing snares in one of the camps. The farm foreman, aged 50, who has been employed on the farm for 40 years was badly beaten up and is hospitalised with a broken arm. A bull was found caught in a snare this morning. The owner was able to release it. On Rosedale Farm, three head have been slaughtered and the meat removed. On Lundi Ranch, 30 impala and 2 kudu were caught in game nets by 50+ Chibi villagers. 27 people from the same communal area chased all the labour and their families off the ranch, claiming they were liberating the property. These people were arrested by the Police on a directive from the Governor.
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions Update
Wednesday 20th / Friday 22nd September 2000
Notice to recipients: We apologise that the national sitrep was not sent out on Wednesday 20th September, but trust that members did receive the important bulletin with a detailed briefing on the CFU litigation other important CFU activities. The incidents in Featherstone / Chivu that are reported in this sitrep took all our attention on that day. We trust that recipients recognise that operational pressures may sometimes have to receive priority over regular reporting procedures. We are still receiving numerous queries about distribution to our mass mailing lists and are getting as frustrated as recipients. We will persist in identifying the blockages.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
Victory Block: There have been numerous incidents of poaching and goats and cattle been driven onto farms. Irrigation pipes have been stolen from Msitwe River Ranch. Poisoned maize has been found around Disi farm dam presumably as guinea fowl bait. 6 to 8 families of resident war vets are building structures on Vivelkia Farm.
Mvurwi: Mabwe Farm was resettled with 22 families today by the Provincial Governor. The farm has not been evaluated.
Mutepatepa: There has been snaring and fish poaching on Amanda and Azikara Farms and theft of fences on Brockley Farm.
Mazowe/Concession: The police have been instructed not to remove war vets off farms. Hut building continues on Spa Farm.
Harare West/Nyabira: Mazowe police have
reacted to the situation of work stoppage on Berea Farm. On Border Estates in
Christon Bank, war vets moved off about a week ago, but other occupiers are
still building huts. On the same property, a dog was poisoned on our property.
Mashonaland West North:
Chinhoyi: There was a new invasion on Gamanya Farm. Two Tree Hill Resettlement farmers are encroaching on Finland Farm where they are poaching, lighting fires and disrupting production. There is poaching, tree cutting and theft of fencing on Two Tree Hill Farm and cattle have been pushed on to the farm for grazing. On Ormeston Farm, tobacco planting was disrupted but the situation was resolved.
Karoi: Work stoppages are ongoing in the district. Farm workers have had enough and are standing up to the illegal occupiers. Farm labour were told to move into the barns at Chuiwa Farm and to evacuate the compound, but refused. At Mukuyu Farm, the invaders burnt down the windbreak surrounding the seedbed site. The situation remains tense on Grand Parade Farm after farm workers chased illegal occupiers away following the assault of a tractor driver. Police are doing little to assist farmers and their workers.
Tengwe: A farmer received a death threat and war vet Tenga and four school teachers caused work stoppages but they are now resolved.
Ayrshire North: There is some spill over of trouble from the Victory Block, but the rest of the area is fairly quiet.
Mashonaland West South: Police have been out visiting farmers to advise that people who have invaded farms after general elections must move off otherwise they will be removed.
Chegutu: On Northleigh Farm, a beast was slaughtered - the third in as many weeks. On Maridadi Farm, war vet Chando has divided and sold off most of the property. On Bexhill Farm, the owner wanted to move his cattle to a different paddock, but was told by war vets that they could not as war vets wanted to burn that paddock. On Farnham Farm, four heifers have been missing since Wednesday and have not been found. On Tiverton on Wednesday night the fence to the workshop area was cut and a 30hp motor stolen from the workshop.
Kadoma: The owner of Milverton Farm moved off temporarily for safety reasons.
Chakari: Following the eviction by the police of some invaders from Blackmorvale Farm the wheat crop was set alight, with four hectares destroyed. The police reacted.
Marondera: There are no new reports on Chipesa Farm.
Marondera North: The DA Murehwa allocated land on Rupture Farm about 2 days ago and the settlers are moving on to the farm with all of their belongings.
Wedza: Police told war vets on Fair Adventure that if their cattle and dogs were not off the farm by today they were going to be put down by the vet. The cattle and dogs are no longer on the farm. A lot of fencing wire has been stolen at Dean Farm and perpetrators attempted to steal the window frames from the farm village but they were chased away. An eland was shot on Torre Farm, a cow hacked on Collace Farm and there was a farm store break in at Leeds Farm last night. Chakadenga, Poltimore, Bickleigh and other farms have had an increase in normal activities and this may be in connection with the expected bye elections to be held soon.
Macheke / Virginia: The war vets have left Blue Gums Farm. The DA of Murehwa arrived with about 20 others to resettle the Fairview farm, but the owner successfully resisted.
Beatrice: Farm labour have evicted war vets from Goldylands, Nengwa, Welcome Home, Dunrobin and some other farms. They ended up at Eden farm where there were a number of war vets. This evolved into the Featherstone incident briefly reported in an urgent sitrep on 20th September.
Harare South / Featherstone: War vets have all moved off Carolina Extension. The situation at Stoneridge was tense earlier in the week, but war vets leaders and the police assisted to defuse the situation. On Wednesday 20th September, a group of farmers and about 250 farm workers were dismantling war vet camps in the Featherstone area. A group of war vets, led by Mr Gombo (CIO, Chivhu) retaliated. Shots were fired by the war vets and the farmers and workers attempted to disperse. Some farmers and workers were brutally assaulted by the war vets. Four farm workers and thirteen farmers were abducted by the war vets and taken by vehicle to Chivhu police station. Farmers and workers from the surrounding districts converged on Chivhu police station to assist the hostages. During the confusion, some shots were fired (possibly by police officers, to restore order), but there were no injuries. Police released war vets and the hostages and the immediate situation was defused.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Zengeni confirms that while no arrests have been made, participants in the Chivhu scene who can be proved to have incited violence and who discharged firearms will be charged. He said the ZRP will continue to keep the peace and maintain law and order. Affected farmers and workers will be filing charges of abduction, assault, malicious injury to property and illegal possession of firearms.
The report that four farmers have been arrested is not correct. Four farmers were called to the police station to make statements when a report was received that war vet Felix had been assaulted. They have no knowledge of this incident. The farmers were travelling along the Marirangwe road with their labour to fight a fire that had started on Bhara Bhara. En route they came across a road block near the war vet base camp. When stopped, the farm labour debused and chased the war vets out of their camp and then burnt it down, without encouragement or instruction from the farmers. They cleared the road block and the farmers left. Later the Beatrice police received a phone call from Marirangwe clinic with a complaint of assault against war vet Felix and they stated that he was badly assaulted. Under his own request he was sent to Chitungwisa hospital. The Officer-in-Charge, Beatrice received instructions from PGHQ to investigate the assault on Felix. He then called the four farmers to make their statements. They left the police station at about 10:30pm. They were not detained.
Enterprise: The farm labour are becoming increasingly antagonistic against the war vets. A farmer has had to lay off some workers due to disruption caused by war vets. War vet numbers are decreasing.
Bromley / Ruwa: The situation at Mara Farm, where illegal occupiers were removed by the police, is calm, but there have been some threats of retaliation.
Macheke / Virginia: There is a lot of hut building on Paradise Farm. Police detained four war vets for two days and them returned to the farm.
Rusape: Thirty invaders surrounded the house on Chitora Farm on Tuesday and said they were coming to plant maize in the tobacco land today. Police responded, but as soon as they left, a group of at least fifty invaders returned in the afternoon and were verbally aggressive.
Masvingo East and Central: Government vehicles have been observed frequently moving onto Yettom and Marah farm asking the whereabouts of War Veteran "Muzenda". One farmer reports that attempts were made to poison his three dogs last night.
Chiredzi: Poaching, tree-cutting, hut building and veld fires are ongoing. War vets are instructing some owners to move their cattle off because they want to bring in their own herd.
Mwenezi: Tree-cutting and poaching continues. One beef-master bull has been caught in snares and slaughtered in the Mateke Hills area. On the same property many kilometres of fencing have been stolen. It is not clear whether this is the work of war vets or opportunistic criminals.
Save Conservancy: 94 poachers were arrested on one property. It is estimated that there are 500 poachers operating in the Save Conservancy. Agritex Officials from Bikita have come to peg out. War Veterans continue to enclose Safari Camps. Despite the visit by the Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs visit two weeks ago and newspaper headlines saying that army and police would move in, nothing has materialized. In fact, the situation has deteriorated.
Gutu / Chatsworth: War veterans are instructing some owners to move their cattle off because they want to bring in their own herd.
Shurugwi: Police have recovered some goods stolen from Beacon Kop Farm. Four illegal occupiers have been arrested in connection with the theft.