The ZIMBABWE Situation Our thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.

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Someone's comment on the "breakthrough"....

The "there will be no further occupation of farmlands" bit is questionable
though. Does this mean those farms already occupied are lost? And even if
the evicted farmers are allowed back, would it be possible to rebuild?
A farmer friend of mine says:

"Even if someone were to wave a magic wand and say it was all a mistake and
we can now go home, my farm and the fixed improvements are plundered beyond
what I could recover in my lifetime.  The buildings could be rebuilt and
fences re-erected, but trees take 50 years to grow; silt cannot be removed
from dams and topsoil which had been eroded into the dams and watercourses
cannot be reclaimed in a lifetime.  For me the most important, as I
slaughtered my own cattle for my butchery, is that 18 months of free
defecation by thousands of settlers all over what used to be my grazing
paddocks, has contaminated the farm with tapeworm for many years to come.
The cysts are very resistant to drying and adverse conditions and hatch out
over an extended time. Once the cattle graze on infected land the meat is
rendered suitable for pet-food.  I cannot see me ever recovering - I'll move
on but restoring what was there will not be possible.  I have also lost all
the genetic material in my fine breeding herd, and that probably hurts the
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Zimbabwe to stop occupying white farms
06/09/01 21:43
ABUJA (Reuters) - Zimbabwe has agreed at Commonwealth talks in Nigeria to halt all occupations of white-owned farms, according to a conference communique.

It said that Zimbabwe's delegation at the meeting gave assurances as follows:

-- "There will be no further occupations of farmlands."

-- "Commitment to restore the rule of law to the process of land reform."

-- "Commitment to the freedom of expression as guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe and to take firm action against violence and intimidation."

Zimbabwe also agreed to an "acceleration of discussions with the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) with a view to reaching agreement as quickly as possible," and the Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry issued a commitment to invite the Commonwealth ministerial committee to visit Zimbabwe.

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News for the past 6 months in brief :

Paprika crop came off reasonably well, and being an export crop, we have scored big-time on the price. The parallel exchange rate was Z$75:US$1 in March, it is now around 300:1. However, many input costs have also trebled in the past 2 months, and we have very little to spend it on as the war vets have evicted our workers, and stopped us working for the upcoming season. Up until June we had very few problems. Despite nothing more than a Section 5, the war-vets and Agritex pegged the farm into 79 plots and distributed it out to the new settlers (I counted only about 50 people, some of whom were also resettled on neighbouring farms the same day!). In July a mob of about 30 people came and flattened the electric fence to the seedbeds, tore up all the seedbed covers, destroyed the new irrigation system, and were generally not very polite. Half an hour later, a separate mob of about 20 came and beat up one worker, lectured and threatened the rest, and moved them from their houses into the grading shed, and abducted the security guard. The cattle were let into the paprika (which we hadn't quite finished reaping), and they ate their way through $250,000 worth of what was left.
The labour have been pawns in this battle. We all know that what is going on is illegal, and we insist that they must not give up, but they have had an unbelievably torrid time. The only people that they can rely on is their employers, but if we help them, they are called sell-outs for accepting things from the white-man. Their union is accused of supporting MDC if they protest about what is happening, and the foreign media seem to concentrate on the white farmers, despite the fact that the average farm supports over 100 blacks and 3 whites.
They lived in the grading shed for nearly a month, with 71 people sharing 2 loos and one tap. The Red Cross were informed, but they felt it was not safe for them to come into the area. About 3 weeks ago, the labour were evicted from the shed, and told to leave the farm. We were ready for this, and moved next door to camp in another shed, where half of the remaining 20 workers remain. On the same night, we were advised that it was not safe to stay on the farm. The security guard was threatened and ran away. We set the alarm, locked up, and left. Thieves broke in that night, taking all our electrical goods (TV, etc). The resident squatters, who by now have become entrenched in the workers' houses by the house, heard the alarm but were not interested. The Police have let slip that the perpetrator is a war-vet from a nearby resettlement village, but when CID came to get fingerprints, they spent 10 minutes quizzing F. and I if any informer had told us who the thief was, and then left (minus the fingerprints) when we said we knew nothing. Nothing of the $500,000 worth of stuff taken yet recovered.
A group of 10 Wedza farmers have taken the war-vets, police and local government to court over their refusal to let us farm. We won a provisional order on 28/8/01, so we will see what happens. Yesterday, we tried getting one worker in to burn paprika stalks and residue, which is now long past its destruction date. He was chased off and the group came to warn me not to test them (court order or not). When I explained that residual paprika stalks harbour disease and if not destroyed, will ensure that whoever uses that land in future will have a residual disease problem, they told me not to be clever. Of the 79 plots, less than 5 original guys remain. There are another 5 to 10 that are staying in the compound, being paid by fat-cats to build huts on their plots. None of them have done anything to prepare for this season. Over half our workforce have left, and the farm is being wasted. Maybe the criteria of underutilisation, absentee landlords, multiple farm/plot ownership, bordering on communal areas, etc. apply to what happens with resettlement, not as we stupidly think that it is how they initially identify land suitable for resettlement.
We have been allowed to continue the store and butchery, and therefore the cattle. Last week, fires miraculously started, and restarted about 8 times over 5 days, burning about 70% of the grazing. One unburnt paddock is off-limits as the cattle were eating the thatch from the hut of one squatter who is no longer around. We have had to bunch 160 cows-in-calf, the slaughter herd (20), weaners (40), replacement heifers (50), and last year's weaners (40) all in a 100 Ha paddock. At least the foot-and-mouth is still constrained to mainly only Matabeleland!
We tried ploughing on Saturday, but that was stopped almost before it started. The police say that the Messanger of the Court has not delivered their papers yet, and it is up to the Deputy Sherrif to solve the dispute. The Messenger is nervous about coming to Wedza, as the District Administrator and war vets threaten to kill him last time he tried delivering court papers. This court action is our last chance to farm this year. We should have already planted the crop, but still have to plough, ridge, set up the irrigation and plant. E. W. is packing it in, so he says we can use his seedlings. Every week's delay will reduce the potential of the crop yield by about 4%. Two weeks late now, and counting.... If by some twist of fate, we are allowed to work, it is going to be difficult to fill up our work-force, as many workers are now tired of the violence and being shunted around, so we will probably only grow a half-sized crop, just to keep us going, and to help repay our World Bank loan (which ironically is administered by the Reserve Bank, and was set up to encourage exports and employment). This is our third season now, and it is really frustrating, as we have really got to grips with how to grow the crop (I think), and this should be the season that we coin it - repay all the debts, and start the good life!
Some of the above is fairly mundane and trivial, but we have had it in our face for a long time and it builds up. However, probably over 25% of Wedza have had a worse time than us, and the fact that F. and C. are still on the farm shows that the situation is not totally out of control. We will persevere, as long as we can, as we are not ready to believe that something so obviously wrong can last.
Despite all the above, we are well and happy, though we wish the future was a little easier to predict. Surely it can't go on for much longer??
Our postal system has been disrupted on and off over the past few months because of the usual pay disputes so fingers crossed that email will be a bit more reliable. We love hearing from everyone even if only a couple of lines.
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"Cape Argus", September 06 2001 at 07:55AM

Officials fear Mugabe will lose polls - paper

By Basildon Peta

Harare - Middle-ranking and junior officers of Zimbabwe's Central
Intelligence Organisation have recommended that President Robert Mugabe
should retire before next year's presidential election to enhance
Zanu-PF's chances of winning, a newspaper report says.

Some of the agents quoted said the CIO's top directors were preventing
this message from reaching the president.

The CIO officers interviewed by the Financial Gazette newspaper were
quoted as saying several colleagues working on the "2002 elections
assignment" had emphasised the need to rejuvenate the ruling party ahead
of the crucial presidential election, which must be held by May.

Mugabe faces the stiffest challenge
Mugabe faces the stiffest challenge to his 21-year reign from the
leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan

"Our major task as CIO officers is to interact with people and report
frankly and accurately to our top bosses on what is happening on the
ground," said one junior officer quoted in the Financial Gazette.

"Several of our officers have reported that many voters in the urban
and even rural areas will not support Zanu-PF unless Mugabe retires.

"The president is, however, being badly advised by those who report to
him directly," he said.

The officers were quoted as saying the CIO's intelligence officers
working at street level had conducted an "intelligence census" which
supported the theory that "Zanu-PF requires a new leadership" to enhance
its electoral fortunes.

Already declared that he will run for another six-year term
The Financial Gazette said the officers believed Mugabe was not doing
himself any favours by relying on everything he was told by the senior
CIO directors, without interacting with the junior ranks, as he had in
the past.

The paper quoted the agents as saying even if Mugabe decided to dismiss
their advice, he should at least be well informed about the mood of
Zimbabweans, many of whom are angry over his policies.

About this too, the top brass seemed reluctant to tell him.

Mugabe has already declared that he will run for another six-year term.
- Independent Foreign Service


Published on the Web by IOL on 2001-09-06 07:55:15
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Mugabe man's plush SA mansion

Zimbabwe government's chief spin-doctor has a 'safe house' in a fancy
Johannesburg suburb as his country spirals deeper into crisis


Zimbabwe's chief political spin-doctor, Jonathan Moyo, owns a palatial
home worth R1-million in a plush Johannesburg suburb.

And while the Zimbabwe government forcefully removes farmers from their
land to resettle landless peasants, Moyo's six-bedroomed home in
exclusive Saxonwold stands empty.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change this week described
President Robert Mugabe's Minister of Information as a "hypocrite" for
owning the expensive house.

Moyo has launched scathing attacks on the media, the courts and the
opposition in a country plunged into crisis.

But while Zimbabwe's economy collapses, Moyo's got a safe investment in
his home in Saxonwold, home to some of SA's best-known personalties.

residence features six bedrooms, a large modern granite kitchen, a
swimming pool, double garage, an office, Oregon pine floors and
underfloor heating. Most of the home is hidden behind a high wall topped
with an electric fence.

This week, his wife Betsy, spoke fondly of the home - though her
husband earlier denied to the Sunday Times that he owned the property.

While on holiday in Johannesburg this week, she said: "It is a
wonderful place and my six-year-old misses the house.

"But we have no present plans to sell . . . we will be keeping it."

The couple had attempted to put the house on the market at the
beginning of the year - but kept it after they could not get their
asking price.

Zimbabwean opposition leaders were this week outraged that Moyo owns a
home across the border.

Welshman Ncube, the general secretary of the MDC, said: "All we can say
is that Moyo has demonstrated that he is one of the biggest hypocrites .
. . owning a luxurious home in South Africa that he can run to when
everything in Zimbabwe falls apart."

Morgan Tsvangirai, president of the MDC, said: "All those people who
claim to be patriotic are not patriotic at all . . . this shows a very
split and divided personality and demonstrates underlying insecurities."

Moyo this week denied that he owned the Saxonwold property. "There is
no evidence whatsoever that I own a house there . . . the trust does not
link me as an owner.

"I used to live there two years ago . . . the house is owned by a trust
and I am not a trust."

He added: "The trust is a children's trust and they are not going to
talk . . . and even if I owned that house, I would not be interested in

"I don't think it makes sense for people to be talking about their
properties," Moyo said.
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Manuel 'despairs' over Zim's economic crisis

By Basildon Peta and Reuters

As the rand hit a new record low of R8,50 to the dollar, Finance
Minister Trevor Manuel said he despaired over the "contagion effect" of
the Zimbabwean crisis on South Africa, and agricultural officials in
Zimbabwe announced that 900 white-owned commercial farms had been closed
down in the past month.

And in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, President Olusegun Obasanjo's
government will on Thursday preside over talks aimed at bringing the
governments of Zimbabwe and Britain closer to each other.

In Makoni West, due for a by-election this weekend, ruling Zanu-PF
party youths are going from door-to-door at night demanding that
peasants show their membership cards, a Zimbabwean newspaper reported.

Those who have none are allegedly being assaulted, while the rest are
taken to white-owned farms to peg plots of land.

Collin Cloete, president of the Commercial Farmers Union, said the
violent tactics used by Zanu-PF supporters in the past to drive workers
and farmers off farms had been replaced by an eviction strategy carried
out under cover of darkness.

He said 25 percent out of 3 500 farms owned by CFU members had stopped
operating. This was expected to worsen Zimbabwe's foreign currency
crisis, which has spawned biting fuel and power shortages and is
threatening industry with collapse.


Published on the Web by IOL on 2001-09-05 21:10:07
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Breakthrough in Zimbabwe land crisis

Telegraph [UK]
(Filed: 06/09/2001 19:49 BST)

NIGERIAN foreign minister Sule Lamido said Commonwealth ministers meeting in Abuja today had achieved a 'total breakthrough' in the Zimbabwe land crisis.

Jack Straw and Sule Lamido

"Yes there is an agreement," Lamido told reporters. "There has been a total breakthrough." He did not elaborate, but said there would be a full briefing shortly.

Conference sources said that Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo had been instrumental in bringing the Zimbabwe delegation back to the table earlier in the day.

Sources earlier had said a Zimbabwe land reform plan prepared by the United Nations in the late 1990s could be revived as a framework for solving the crisis.

Delegates said Zimbabwe's government, facing increasing international isolation over its encouragement of farm occupations by self-styled nationalist war veterans, appeared to have dropped its initial opposition to the UN plan.

Earlier today, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who is in Nigeria with other Commonwealth ministers for talks on Zimbabwe, said that land reforms were needed in the former colony but must be carried out within the law.

Mr Straw said: "There is a need for land redistribution but it must be handled differently, without violence, without conflict, within the context of the law, bearing in mind the interests of all Zimbabweans both black and white."

"That seems to me to be a very good starting point for these discussions."

Straw, speaking just before talks were due to start, said the issue of land reform could not be looked at in isolation. He said: "Land is hugely important everywhere. It is the fundamental basis of most wealth, particularly in a continent like Africa. But you can't divorce issues of land from the law,.

"There has been a breakdown of law and order and the rule of law (in Zimbabwe)."

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Zimbabwe signs deal with Britain to end occupation of white-owned farms

By Katherine Butler

07 September 2001

From The Independent [UK]

Zimbabwe agreed last night to end the occupation of white-owned farms and the intimidation of political opponents in exchange for a commitment by Britain to pay £36m towards a new programme of land redistribution.

In what appeared to be a remarkable breakthrough, Stan Mudenge, the Foreign Minister of Zimbabwe, signed a Commonwealth declaration setting out tough conditions his country must observe in exchange for an internationally backed land reform plan. Sule Lamido, the Nigerian Foreign Minister, who had earlier warned that Zimbabwe was on the brink of a "racial war", announced the deal, saying: "There is a total breakthrough."

Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, who represented Britain at the Abuja meeting, said: "The test of this agreement will be the events on the ground." Injecting a strong note of caution, one British diplomat said: "The Zimbabwe delegation in Abuja was not led by Robert Mugabe."

The core of the deal is the revival of a land reform settlement mooted by the United Nations in the late 1990s. Under that scheme, Britain and other international donors would fund the compensation for white commercial farmers for the redistribution of farms to millions of landless black peasants. The compensation fund would be administered by the UN Development Programme.

Zimbabwe has agreed in exchange to "take firm action against intimidation and violence", a reference to months of terror visited on farmers, the media, the judiciary and the opposition. It has also agreed "there will be no further occupation of farmlands" and to make a "commitment to restore the rule of law to the process of land reform".

Mr Mugabe previously rejected the UN-brokered plan. His acceptance of it now, if borne out by events, comes amid mounting international pressure over his encouragement of violent land seizures.

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Farm Invasions and Security Report
Monday 3rd September 2001

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.
There were no reports received from Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West North Regions.
Mashonaland West South  
General - Fires continue to be set throughout the region and grazing is becoming increasingly scarce for cattle. Illegal movement of cattle continues with little or no assistance from police or the Department of Veterinary Services.
Norton - Military personnel continue to move around the area with AK47's, intimidating farmers and their work forces and refuse to give information of who they are being commanded by, names or identification. A soldier, in police presence, pointed an AK47 barrel into the stomach of the owner of Fort Martin Farm, insisted that no planting would continue on the farm and harassed the owner for over an hour. The owner's wife of Beersheba was abducted and returned unharmed by military personnel whilst the owner was away. Military personal have sometimes been in the presence of Mr Shumba, the Chegutu DA, who has been extremely intimidating in some cases.
Selous - The DA of Chegutu told the owner of Hopewell Farm that he would not be allowed to plant, even though the owner has ploughed 250 hectares for the coming season. Illegal occupiers are moving around Mount Carmel Farm with firearms. The DA's pegging team broke off metal fencing standards at ground level on Garamwe Farm, the boundary fence with Carsky Farm to do their pegging exercise. Illegal occupiers cut a standing crop of gum trees and slaughtered a cow on Wicklow Estates.
Chakari - Regular ZANU (PF) rallies and intimidation of farm workers is occurring on Newbiggin Farm. None of the farms in this area and in the whole of Kadoma District have yet received the go ahead from the DA Kadoma for planting summer crops.
Kadoma / Battlefields - On several farms, there has been the threat of looting, and some farms had to be evacuated. The owner of one farm has not been able to return to his farm, as a result of receiving threats from the DA in the presence of army and police.
Chegutu - A police superintendent from Harare, has been allocated a plot by the DA on a farm in the district phoned the owner to inform him. Illegal occupiers posted a sign saying "wood for sale" on Farnham. The entrance onto Bougainvillea was blocked with felled trees by illegal occupiers who also set fire to the whole farm.
Mashonaland East  
Beatrice - A house on Enslinsdeel farm was broken into and a revolver, 40 rounds of ammunition and some cash stolen. The night before that, the workshop was broken into and 45 litres of diesel and a set of spanners stolen.  2 rallies were held over the week end, one at Altrina and the other at Maas Plein. Electrical equipment was stolen from the workshop on Voorspoed. Illegal occupiers prevented ploughing on Nebo, Maas Plein and Alamein. Sprinklers were stolen from a wheat field on New Retreat farm.
Featherstone - A work stoppage occurred on Kuruman ‘A’ when farm workers claimed that a 40% increase was insufficient and are claiming 100% increase and back pay to August. Dairy cows have not been milked. About 100 illegal occupiers and the DA Chivhu arrived on Ngezi farm and told the farm owner and manager that his arrival had nothing to do with them and they were to return to the farm house. Some plots were allocated and a meeting was held on the farm. A Featherstone police Officer-in-Charge disconnected the power to the District radio network repeater, claiming that the repeater used too much power and must be removed from the mast at the police station. Fires continue unabated and about 80% of the district has been burnt out.
Harare South - A work stoppage occurred on Cholo farm but grading has been allowed to continue. Illegal occupiers told the owner that farm workers were not allowed to collect firewood on the farm and the 20 ha of vegetables in the ground is not to be worked on. The owner stands to lose between 5 and 10 million dollars. The DA, lands committee, Assistant Commissioner Makono and about 70 illegal occupiers arrived outside the homestead gate on Walmer farm and told the owner that if he did not stop ploughing he would be locked up and the key thrown away. After the delegation left, illegal occupiers set up barricades along the road. The owner called the police who reacted and removed the road blocks. As soon as the police left, illegal occupiers cut more trees down and rebuilt the road blocks. Illegal occupiers proceeded to chant outside the owner's homestead before proceeding to the farm village to harass farm workers. Illegal occupiers tried to gain access into the foreman's homestead on Auks Nest farm and the following morning, cut down trees which blocked the entrance of the managers homesteads. Police and armed soldiers reacted. The managers and foreman were accused by Illegal occupiers of pulling pegs out. The farm workers were then called to the meetingand some were assaulted by illegal occupiers. Police instructed farm workers to remove the barricades and told the managers they could continue with seed beds and grading but no planting. Police left and when one of the managers returned to his house, about 20 aggressive illegal occupiers demanded that he collect his valuables and vacate the farm immediately. Illegal occupiers proceeded to call a meeting with farm workers, who were told they must vacate the farm when the grading had been completed. Illegal occupier Felix Njerama confiscated farm keys from the guard on Gilston. The manager on Rusimbiro has been barricaded in his homestead for 3 days. Illegal occupiers started roof rattling his homestead for a short while.
Marondera - 11 work stoppages have occurred on farms in the Ruzawi area. Farm workers on Polotime have been paid off due to pressure from the illegal occupiers. The farmer who leases the farm has been threatened and had shut down his business. Increasing demands are being received from illegal occupiers to move into empty houses, compensation demands for maize eaten by farm cattle, removal of cattle off farms and farm owners instructed to pay off their work force. The owners of Uitkyk, Mushangwe, Polotime, Eirenie, Munemo, Idapi and Safari were told to vacate their farms by the end of August 2001. "Re-education" is becoming more widespread with gangs of ZANU PF supporters rounding up farm workers every night, beating them and forcing them to run, do press-ups, sit-ups and chant all night. Sometimes women and children are beaten. In the Wenimbe area, pressure on farm workers continues with daily pungwes, assaults and tractors commandeered. This activity is now affecting plot holders. 3 farm owners who have evacuated their farms have not been able to return.
Marondera North - A work stoppage occurred on Warwick farm and irrigation equipment has been stolen.
Macheke / Virginia - The owner of Marylands farm was instructed by illegal occupiers to remove 780 head of cattle by that afternoon. The owner was then told that if he had a problem he was to phone Mr Gochera.  Police were notified.  Illegal occupiers on a farm in the district demanded that they be given bricks, timber and other items in order to build themselves houses. This was refused and as a result they have returned with scotch carts and started helping themselves to bricks, quarry stones and gum poles. Police responded.  Farm workers from Wheatlands arrived at the managers office with some illegal occupiers and demanded to be paid off. After holding up the manager for over an hour, the situation remains unresolved. The owner of Mignon farm was given 4 days to evacuate the farm. The farm has been delisted and police said they would react. A work stoppage occurred on Marylands and illegal occupiers demanded to meet with farm workers. Farm workers returned to work but there is still an unresolved issue where farm workers are claiming compensation for crops and demanding that cattle be moved from the dip. Farm workers have been told by illegal occupiers that as soon as grading on the farm is finished they too will be moved off the farm. A work stoppage occurred on Bimi farm and the owner was told he may continue work if furnaces that had been removed from the barns were replaced, which was agreed. The owner of Wheatlands paid off some contract workers through the NEC, and it was agreed the workers would be allowed to remain in the homes on the farm. Illegal occupiers forced the contract workers out of their homes. A work stoppage is on going and illegal occupiers have said they will be moving their own cattle onto the farm shortly.  4 illegal occupiers, one with a knife, walked into the security fence of the homestead on Murrayfield farm and threatened the house worker and demanded for the house keys and breakfast. The illegal occupiers left, taking one of the padlocks. Police eventually responded. About 70 illegal occupiers instructed the manager of Malda to take the tractors into the farm village and move everyone out. Assistant Inspector Chirowodza resolved the situation. Drunk illegal occupiers later forced the manager to tell the house worker to open the homestead on Malda farm. Police responded and removed the illegal occupiers from the homestead.
Wedza - Illegal occupiers chased farm workers off 4 farms in the area. 
Chimanimani - 28 illegal occupiers arrived on Charleswood in a DDF truck and the leaders asked us if they could be housed in the school until their tents were organised. On the advise of the lawyers, the manager declined and by the evening illegal occupiers had disappeared. 3 illegal occupiers cut down saplings and started digging holes with an intention to build. The only presence remaining is 4 army details and a uniformed policeman.
Nyazura - There is a large increase in permanent structures being built in the district.
Odzi - A complete work stoppage occurred on Riverside Farm and the owner is trying to resolve the situation.
Masvingo East & Central - 650 m of wire and 512 steel standards of 1,8m have been stolen from Chidza Farm, a cow hamstrung and an influx of illegal occupiers. The owner of Lothian evacuated the farm due to continuous death threats and was forced to shut down farming operations. Fawcett Security were employed by the owner to guard the premises and are continuously being harassed by illegal occupiers who refuse to allow the guards to collect firewood, water, or to sleep in the homesteads provided for them.  Illegal occupiers ordered the owner of Bon Domi to remove all cattle off the farm, and to enforce their demands, illegal occupiers are systematically burning the farm out.  The owner of Southwill Estate was prevented from returning to his farm or carrying out farming duties for 6 days. Illegal occupiers have caused massive destruction to the farm and plantations, as well as burnt tyres on the entrance road. All grazing has been burnt and there is limited food for livestock. Although Government has held discussions with illegal occupiers, they refuse to leave. About 50 illegal occupiers chanted at the owner of Heathcoat Farm homestead gate. The owner has continually received harassment from illegal occupiers and about 50% of the farm has been burned. Road blocks have been set up, and massive destruction of trees continues. Illegal occupier Muzenda continues to cut and clear trees in front of the owner's homestead.
Mwenezi - Veld fires continue to occur in this area. The owner of Wentzelhof has received continual threats from illegal occupiers demanding that cattle be moved off the farm or they will destroy and burning farm grazing and attack the owners homestead. Thugs have been ambushing cane haulage trucks, by climbing onto the trucks whilst in transit to Triangle and removing cane from them. When a driver realised what was happening, he stopped the vehicle to warn the perpetrators to desist from stealing cane. On the next run, the driver was ambushed by thugs who fired stones from catapults. Illegal occupiers attacked the homestead on Merrievale Ranch to reinforce demands to remove cattle off the farm and threatened to kill cattle for compensation of any damage done to their crops, which they are proposing to grow in this low rainfall area. Harassment, provocation, and interference of water supplies continue. Illegal occupiers have burnt about 50% of the farm grazing. The owner of Quaggapan continues to deal with harassment, provocation, snaring, poaching, maiming and slaughtering of cattle caused by illegal occupiers. Farm workers are also being threatened and sometimes assaulted by illegal occupiers. Several homestead attacks have occurred in the area. Conflict between farm owners and illegal occupiers continue over the shortage of water and grazing for their livestock on Kayalami, Chipangayi Ranch, Bubye River Ranch, Sangokwe, Quaggapan B, Lesunga, Malingani Ranch, Fauna and Flora Ranch, Altenberg, Nuanetsi Ranch, Sarahuru, Reinette, Umfula and Limbergia. Illegal occupiers on Marcona Ranch are pegging and building huts between the owners troughs and kraals.
Chiredzi - 2 veld fires occurred on Wasarasara Ranch. War veteran Dube instigated the fires and tried to attack the owner whilst in his vehicle. When owner sped through the gate that was forced shut, 5 illegal occupiers armed with pangas and axes, accompanying Dube, proceeded to chase the owner. Illegal occupiers then set the farm alight. Malicious arson continued on Oscro Farm and 4 out of 12 paddocks were burnt out on Wasarasara Ranch. Police and Support Unit responded about 5 hours after the incident and instructed perpetrators to desist from setting fires. About 18 illegal occupiers played drums and chanted in the farm village and threatened to beat farm workers, who dispersed and illegal occupiers proceed to break farm workers home windows. Illegal occupiers left the farm village and set fires on areas of the farm which had not been burnt. Irrigation equipment and piping was destroyed and some stolen. Agritex officials are pegging on Faversham Ranch and re-allocating 3 ha plots. The owner of Palm River Ranch received instruction from Zaka land committee to remove all cattle off the farm. When owner questioned the Zaka DA, he was told that this was correct and that the owner must think about vacating the farm. A poacher was arrested on Ruware Ranch and when illegal occupiers tried to intervene, Mkwasine police refused to adhere to their demands to release the poacher. 
Save Conservancy - Large veld fires occurred in the district over the weekend. On Masapas Ranch, a Leopard was killed by 6 poachers and their dogs.  poacher was arrested by police. Felling of trees, poaching, huts building and pegging continue.
Gutu / Chatsworth - ZTCU informed the owner of Smilingvale Farm that they would try resolve the strike issue currently taking place on the farm. Illegal occupiers on Felixburg farm are demanding that the owner remove all cattle off the farm.  
General - The situation on beef cattle ranches is becoming critical as grazing is burned up in veld fires and restrictions on cattle movement, due to the Foot & Mouth outbreak, imposes further difficulties in maintaining herds. Lawlessness continues unabated in rural areas. 
General - Foot and Mouth disease is being identified on a daily basis with cases now being found in Lupane, Marula, Bulawayo, Umzingwane, Gwanda, West Nicholson and Beit Bridge areas.  Fires accidental, and deliberate by farm occupiers are rampant with an estimated 25 % of the commercial farming areas being burnt out. Fires are caused by clearing lands to plough, arson to drive cattle off the farm and to drive game out into the open to hunt.
Nyamandhlovu - A fire started by illegal occupiers on a farm in the area, raged out of control and burnt down a line of 13 illegal occupiers huts. The owner of Redwood Park is still being prevented from returning to his farm with only a skeleton staff being allowed to run some essential services like feeding ostriches and running incubators. The Lucerne is being irrigated but the wheat crop in grain filling stage has not been irrigated for 2 weeks now. All other land preparation and farm activities have been stopped. 58 ostrich chicks were burnt to death when the shelter burnt down. Cattle have now been released from the kraal and returned to their paddocks to graze and water on Glencurrach. The owner continues to receive harassment from illegal occupiers. DDF officials pegged Windburn and are moving illegal occupiers on the farm. Matobo farm  received a letter from a war veteran addressed to management, claiming that management had been very hostile towards them as they had refused to comply with their demands to keep the house security gate unlocked, for refusing to unlock the boundary fence gate, have not removed their cattle from the farm and that the cattle are eating their thatching grass. They have reported the owners to police, D A and the ZANU (PF) office. A large portion of the farm was burnt out by an illegal occupier who was recently convicted for poaching. Where they are demanding water is a borehole with no equipment on it. They offered to buy diesel and expect the owners to equip the borehole. A new spate of pegging and illegal occupiers has started again on Cedor Park, an unlisted farm. It is now 22 days that the owner and his manager have been denied access onto Cawston Block farm, with a skeleton staff tending to the ostriches, chicks and hatchery. All safaris have been stopped. The property was taken over by the Rural District Council with assistance of the war veterans. Damage to wildlife and ostriches will only be evident once the owner is able to return.
Insiza - On Obocosso, war veteran Chabangu, has illegally occupied the farmhouse and arrived with 8 head of cattle driven on hoof from Zvishavane without a permit in total contravention of the foot and mouth regulations. On Saturday evening 2 young male thugs gained access into the security fence on Ebley Farm, under false pretences, the owner being a single woman living on her own was grabbed her by the arms and took her into the house which was ransacked in search of money. Having just paid her farm workers the thugs only found $1 900 in the house which they took along with a watch and pocket calculator. The owner was left unharmed but shaken. After cutting the telephone lines, the thugs made their getaway in a hidden vehicle, believed to be an old blue Mazda pick-up which was seen the next day broken down a few kms down the road. Police are investigating. The Officer in Charge of Bembesi police is carting building material onto Fountains farm and intends building his bottle store next to the owners butchery and vegetable outlet.
Zvishavane - Farms are now totally pegged and settled, even unlisted properties. Farm guards are looking after vacated premises and infrastructure. Poaching and snaring is no longer a problem as everything has been killed and the meat sold. Rampant burning and tree cutting has occurred to prepare for ploughing. Stock theft is now rampant in the communal areas. Gold panning is out of control causing massive river bank destruction.
Gwayi - In the Halfway Hotel area, the owner of Gundwani has been restricted to his Safari Camp and hunting along the old strip road to the Victoria Falls. Safari operations are being severely hampered. The whole area has come under the Governor's scrutiny with meetings in the area threatening landowners with takeover and communal people with a ban on poaching and hunting.
Beit Bridge - Illegal occupiers planned a demonstration on Mavimba, after the owner took the DA to court and to reinforce their demands for cattle to be removed off the ranch, for the owner vacate the farm and that war veterans take control of the boom over the main road from Mazunga to the Zhove Dam, which was unsuccessful and lacked popular support.
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ZIMBABWE: Maize price hiked to entice farmers

JOHANNESBURG, 5 September (IRIN) - The Zimbabwean government had agreed to
pay farmers 13 percent more for their maize to help boost deliveries to
the state which is facing food shortages, Channel Africa reported on

The report quoted Agriculture Minister Joseph Made as saying that farmers
would be paid US $154 per mt of maize. According to news reports, the
price hike was also aimed at cushioning farmers from increasing harvesting
and marketing costs. The report said that under new rules introduced
earlier this year, farmers have been forced to sell all their maize to the
parastatal Grain Marketing Board. According to the report, the new prices
would be backdated to apply to maize delivered since the start of Zimbabwe
’s maize marketing season in April.
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