Invasions And Security Report
06 September 2002
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
FOLLOWING ADVERTISEMENT APPEARED IN THE HERALD FRIDAY 06/09/02 FROM ZIMRA
(ZIMBABWE REVENUE AUTHORITY)
NOTICE TO ALL FARMERS AND FARM WORKERS AFFECTED
BY THE COMPULSORY ACQUISITION OF LAND IN TERMS OF THE LAND ACQUISITION ACT
RETRENCHMENT PACKAGES OF
Notice is hereby given to all farmers affected
by the above mentioned scheme.
The terminal benefits of agricultural employees
affected by the compulsory acquisition of land are
However, the first $150 000.00 or one third
whichever is the greater of the amount of any severance pay, gratuity or similar
benefits, other than a pension or cash in lieu of leave, is exempt from
This exemption applies in respect of the first
$750 000 only and any amounts above this threshold become taxable in full at
Farmers should produce a certificate to the
effect that they are retrenching their workers due to the compulsory acquisition
of land if the employees are to qualify for this
A directive should be obtained from
ZIMRA for each farm worker who will be paid a retrenchment package. Where it is not possible to do so, guidance
should be sought from the nearest ZIMRA office in order to ensure that tax is
- The farmers had
their Section 8's turned over in court, however the OIC advises them to not to
go to their farms as there is political turmoil in the area and the Police
cannot guarantee their safety.
Chipinge - On Lushoff Farm, 3 more dairy cattle were
Chimanimani - Clearing and burning on the
Valley - Still
plenty of labour unrest, but all seems to be quiet
Mutare - There were 2 cases heard this week but were
remanded until November.
Odzi - All is quiet.
Nyazura - on Clare Farm, the "war vets" want the
irrigation pipes. The Police told them that unless an agreement was made with
the owner then they could not have the pipes. The "war vets" changed the locks
on Clare Farm 05.09.02. The Police advised the owner to lay a formal
Nyanga - all appears to be quiet. One case will be
Headlands - Four cases were heard and remanded until the
10th September for a bail hearing and a further case to be heard on 17th
September. Farmers are still not allowed to return their
Macheke/Virginia - There have been various problems with
farmers barricaded in mainly due to S.I.6. wage package problems. Theft is
ongoing: one farm had the manager’s house broken into and badly ransacked.
Other items stolen on other farms include, sprinklers, tobacco asbestos
sheeting, 13 head of cattle. Another farmer had to appear in Court.
areas - no reports received.
Umboe – at Inyati Farm,
a truck loaded with farm equipment was impounded after settlers complained to
the Police base on the farm. The latter
was built, set up and has ZESA paid for by the farm owner. Truck released
Ayrshire – three farmers were detained in their
own yards by labour demanding retrenchment packages. About 10 farmers are
paying various forms of retrenchment, even those who only received a Section 5.
Only one farmer is planting tobacco. Some are trying to finish grading. At
Allan Grange Farm the manager leased a farmhouse and was told by Minister Chombo
to move out, as he wants the house. (Story in The Daily News 04.09.02, page
Doma - Labour problems experienced. A farmer
was barricaded in his house by labour
demanding payment of retrenchment packages. Labour sees others receiving
packages on other farms and demand theirs, regardless of whether the farmer is
continuing farming. A2 settlers moving on to one farm. The D.A. told one farmer
he must move off because he wants the farm. Plenty of extortion going on. One
farmer had ZW$6 000 000 lifted off him after he had drawn it from the bank at
Westgate, Harare. Another farmer paid cheques to his labour outside the bank in
Mhangura, which is a safer method. Others use Fawcetts Security to pay their
wages for them.
Chinhoyi -the owner of Athens, Upper Romsey,
West Ranch and Dumalan Farms went to court where the Magistrate declined to
prosecute because: the bank have not received a Section 5 or 8; and there has
been no-one on Athens Farm for a year.
The Magistrate declined to prosecute the Dendadales Farm owner: no
Section 8 received, only a section 5 and the owner has not been on the farm for
over a year.
Banket – at Buryhill an A2 settler stopped the
farmer from reaping paprika. An A2 settler threatened to forcibly evict farmer
on 31.08.02 and an A2 settler drove 220 cattle out of feed pens and stole the
tape so the owner cannot water or feed them. At Rathgar, settlers moved into
the homestead. The owner of Mapandaguta Farm is still off the farm. In general,
wage packages are causing havoc in the area.
Tengwe - Retrenchments ongoing. Army personnel
have taken over two farms with the help of the
Chegutu - The P.A. was visiting with a task
force. Many farmers are evicted at 24 hours notice or
Karoi, Trelawney/Darwendale – no report
Farmers with Section 8's on the Umboe Road have
been given 72 hours to move by the ZRP.
Mwenezi - A
team of game scouts from National Parks was sent down to this area over the last
few days. Bubye River Ranch reports as follows:
The game scouts arrested 12 poachers over a period of three
days, four of whom were arrested and charged and given eight hours community
service. These twelve individuals were responsible for poaching the following
28.08.02 - 3 Kudu, 1 Warthog, 2 Zebra, 1
Wildebeest, 1 Impala, 1 Female Eland. 4 poachers given 8 hours community
29.08.02 - 1 Giraffe, 1 Wildebeest, 1 Kudu. All
cases pending for poachers caught.
30.08.02 - 2 Giraffe, 1 Kudu and 3 Warthog. All
cases pending for poachers caught.
National Parks are reported to be returning to
base as they have not received a helpful attitude from the Police and are
frustrated due to the lack of Police Support. These figures indicate the tip of
the iceberg as far as poaching is occurring on these properties. The Kleinbegin Ranch owner was told he had to
be off his property last 26.08.02 due to his Section 8 expiring. He has since
packed his belongings and moved off the property. The Santidza Ranch owner has been charged, is
out on remand, paid ZW$10 000 bail and is allowed to return to his property
until his set Court Date. Burning of
lands, chopping of trees and more squatting continues on most
Gutu / Chatsworth - A2 Settlers continue to
threaten owners they would like to begin ploughing and if not allowed to do so
they will summon the “Youth League” to sort out their complaints. At Makanya Farm the Ministry of Lands told
the owner they must give half of their property to Government and come into
their offices to sign LA Forms should they wish to remain and retain a portion
of their land. If they do not comply they will be served with a Section 8 Order
and therefore get no land. At Mazongororo Farm the Ministry of Lands official
informed the labour that the owner must come and collect all his belongings from
the house. The owner has offered several properties through ZJRI and wishes to
retain this property. The Nyororo Farm owner was approached by Ministry of Land
officials and was told that he must hand over half or “a portion” of this
property or a Section 8 Order will be issued and then he will be left with
Chiredzi – five farmers (Phil Tennant, Robin
Crawford, Ben Lagesse, Alan Souchon and John Taylor) appeared in Court 06.08.02
after being charged for staying on their properties. The Magistrate offered her
sympathy and agreed this whole procedure was incorrect, however she also added
that she was under immense political pressure from the Governor. As a result the
Magistrate would not change the bail conditions or drop the case. She informed
them that a letter was needed from the Ministry of Lands before she could do
anything. On speaking with Mr. Masanu, Ministry of Lands Head Official,
Masvingo, he was uncertain as to whether he would be able to write that letter
or not due to a directive sent out from the National office concerning letters
written by officials on the ground. The court case has been remanded until
09.09.02. The Public Prosecutor was ordered that he must obtain a subpoena or
summons for a Ministry of Lands official to appear in Court on this date. On
speaking with the farmers they are of the impression that this procedure could
go on and on with the Court case being continually
Masvingo - Nothing to
- increased amount of fires on properties. Continued unabated destruction and
poaching is rampant.
Gutu / Chatsworth - at Nuwejaar Farm one steer was chopped on
the head and killed early 05.09.02 while grazing on a salt block. Over the
weekend four other head of cattle were reported stolen. Northdale Farmreported
two cattle stolen last weekPlenty of veldfires reported on Rossal and Chatsworth
Farms Three properties: Mazongororo Farm Nyororo Farm Makanya Farm had continued
harassment by phone and visits from Government Land officials with the threat to
hand over half or part of their properties otherwise they will receive a Section
8 and have no land. In general, up to
twenty youth have been seen at one time with packs of hunting dogs, presumably
hunting for game.
Mwenezi - Fires reported on properties. Extreme
poaching continuing. Continued destruction of
Visit the CFU Website www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
Fraudulent and Bogus Message from Commercial Farmers' Union,
An email sent by Dudley Rogers claiming to be the
Secretary of the
Commercial Farmers' Union Matabeleland Branch, is fraudulent
misrepresentation with the objective of obtaining funds from
recipients of the message.
I, David Hasluck, the Director of
the Commercial Farmers' Union in Zimbabwe,
email email@example.com, hereby make oath and
say that Dudley Rogers' email
message from firstname.lastname@example.org is a fabrication by persons
other than those
employed by the Commercial Farmers' Union, with the
intention to defraud
people of money.
The matter has been handed to
the Criminal Investigation Department (ZRP) in
record, the Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe has not solicited
support either by email or the Internet.
David W Hasluck
Visit the CFU Website www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
specifically stated that this message is a Commercial Farmers'
communiqué, or that it is being issued or forwarded to you by the
an official CFU capacity, the opinions contained therein are
Private messages also include those sent on behalf of any
directly affiliated to the Union. The CFU does not accept
responsibility for private messages and opinions held by the sender
transmitted over its local area network to other CFU network users and/or
and hear the TRUTH
THERE WILL BE A
REPORT BACK MEETING - DAVE COLTART MP
AT ASCOT RACE
Dear Family and Friends,
President Mugabe created a stir at the World Summit
on Sustainable Development a few days ago with angry words which he spat at
Britain. He said : "So Blair, keep your England and let me keep my Zimbabwe."
The President clearly believes that he owns Zimbabwe and will be in power
forever. He spoke about towering elephants and roaring lions, about land and
satisfying the needs of his land hungry people. I cannot help but wonder just
exactly what it is that President Mugabe has to be so proud about. The things
that I see and hear are cause for deep shame and disgust and not national
After 29 months of political turmoil and the almost
complete cessation of commercial agriculture, small towns are falling apart.
Marondera, like dozens of others, is an agro-based town. Its wealth, jobs,
industries and companies were all dependent on the land and farmers and as these
people are increasingly forced out of their homes, the town has begun to
collapse. In Marondera town the commonest sight is of crowds of people who are
always waiting for one thing or another. On the pavements and outside the few
companies still operating, crowds of young, hungry men stand around waiting on
the off chance of a day's employment. Outside every single supermarket and shop,
men and women wait on the off chance of a delivery of food. They wait for sugar,
cooking oil, maize meal and salt. This week even more people are waiting - for
bread and flour, for petrol and diesel. Outside every single government office
hoardes of people wait for bits of paper - paper which tells them which piece of
land they may or may not occupy; whether their application for government
project money has been approved; whether their request for seed, fertilizer or
school fees has been accepted or not. Outside the once beautiful Marondera
Municipal offices this week, lines of tired and thin women sit with their hungry
babies waiting for a piece of paper with a government stamp on it entitling them
to queue for maize at the town's grain marketing board. At the main Marondera
hospital there are hundreds of people sitting waiting on the ground in the sun -
for a doctor or a nurse, a pain killer or bandage. Around our town litter is
everywhere, the roads into the suburbs are mapped with deep craters which used
to be pot holes, two out of every ten street lights work and nine out of ten
street signs have been stolen.
On the 67km journey from Marondera to Harare the
neglect is phenomenal. Almost all the farms have been taken over, the fences are
gone or falling down and the fields are deserted, burnt or barren. Travelling
this road late on a Sunday afternoon the new owners of these farms turn out onto
the highway where every single road sign had been stolen for it's tin and most
of the cats' eyes have been dug out of the tar for their aluminium bases . If
these people driving home into a glowing red sunset are landless peasants then,
as my parents used to say, I'll eat my hat. They are driving Z$20 million
Pajeros and Mercedes, they are Zimbabwe's new weekend and cellphone farmers who
acquired their new properties as rewards for their dirty deeds in almost three
years of political campaigning.
Zimbabwe's small towns are dying, her people are
starving, dirty and desperate and President Mugabe tells the world to keep out
of "his Zimbabwe". I too would be ashamed and not want anyone to see what is
becoming of us. Until next week, with love, cathy. http://africantears.netfirms.com Copyright:
Cathy Buckle 7th Sept 2002
Please find attached
a copy of MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai's 'State of the Nation'
Information Please Contact:
MDC Director of Information - 00 263 91 248570
James Littleton -
0044 7771 501 401_________________________________________
MDC Information Department
2nd Floor, Harvest House, Nelson
Cell: 091 248 570/091 389 444 Fax: 781 040
6 September 2002.
Regime blocks food aid while the people of Zimbabwe
The WSSD has allowed world leaders to detach themselves briefly
from pressing domestic concerns and focus on the environmental and
socio-economic issues that threaten the long term viability of our planet.
Strengthening the global consensus on sustainable development and turning
sustainable development into a global reality is essential and we welcome the
fact that sustainable development is firmly back on the international agenda.
Words now need to be turned into action; otherwise the Summit will be at risk of
being dismissed as an expensive talk shop.
Despite the noble efforts
made by the majority of world leaders to make tangible progress on the key
issues influencing sustainable development, it is clear that a minority of
leaders exploited the summit for crude, opportunistic propaganda. Mr Mugabe
stands accused of being the biggest culprit of such despicable hijacking. His
romanticism with anti-colonialism is tired nationalism, which fails to
appreciate the fact that what the people are concerned about is the creation of
wealth and a better life for the people of Zimbabwe.
Mr Mugabe has no interest in sustainable development; instead he is more
concerned with self-interest and self-preservation. In fact the environment in
Zimbabwe is one of the biggest victims of Mugabe’s land policies. There have
been dramatic rises in the poaching of wild animals and thousands of trees have
been cut down and sold as firewood by resettled farmers desperate for any means
of survival. Mugabe blatantly abused the Summit platform to misrepresent
Zimbabwe and distort global understanding of the reality of the crisis engulfing
Human rights abuses, state sponsored violence, disregard for
the rule of law, enforced poverty and deliberate starvation were all issues that
Mr Mugabe failed to mention when presenting his own view of Zimbabwe's crisis to
delegates in Johannesburg.
Mr Mugabe may reflect on the Summit as a big
own goal. He tirade against Mr Blair and the West only resonated with a tiny
minority of delegates and was not representative of the views shared by Africans
as a whole. The crisis is not about Mugabe and Blair, far from it, it is about
the lives of the people of Zimbabwe that Mugabe has put to ruin. Africa as a
whole is on the march, guided by such progressive leaders such as President
Mbeki, President Wade and President Obassanjo. They have a vision for Africa,
which deserves the support of the international community. The international
community must not judge Africa by the standards of dictators such as Sam Nujoma
and Mr Mugabe.
Mr Mugabe's arguments that he is fighting a neo-colonialist agenda simply
serve to underline the absurdity and irrelevance of his regime. Mr Mugabe should
begin to realise that regimes characterised by bad governance, endemic
corruption, and disregard for the rule of law are out of sink with the noble
guiding principles that are guiding the increasing number of progressive
governments in Africa and shaping the future of our continent and its place in
an increasingly globalised world.
Contrary to Mugabe's speech, Zimbabwe
is spiralling out of control with the people of Zimbabwe being forced to suffer
incredible hardships at the hands of a regime indifferent to their plight. Given
Mugabe's attempts to distort the global understanding of Zimbabwe, the MDC would
like to inform the world of truth.
The food situation
in Zimbabwe has reached dangerous levels with nearly half the population at risk
of starvation. The illegitimate Mugabe regime has abdicated its responsibility
to feed its own people and is more concerned with punishing those suspected of
opposition the regime by denying them food aid. As we represent the views of the
majority of people in Zimbabwe and are the true victors of presidential
election, we have a clear mandate and moral duty to act and ensure that people
do not starve. We have provided funds to the Feed Zimbabwe Trust to assist with
the procuring of maize from outside the country and distribute through
non-partisan church networks. It is a race against the clock to prevent mass
starvation in Zimbabwe, the time for action is now and we intend to take
Sadly, this maize has been denied entry by the Mugabe regime. It is both a
shame and an absurdity that the regime declares the food situation as a national
disaster but goes on to refuse food while the people of Zimbabwe starve. It is
clear that the regime has failed to feed the people of Zimbabwe, yet it wants to
deny other people who have the capacity and will to provide the food.
Zimbabwe's economy has surprised many for
surviving as long as it has. The popular belief persists however; that the
Mugabe regimes continue mismanagement of the economy will lead to its eventual
collapse over the short rather than medium or long term. With external debt
approaching US$1 billion, unsustainable budget deficits, inflation at 125% and
the economy predicted to contract by 12% this year the outlook does not look
good. The result will means more misery for Zimbabweans as the level of poverty
increases and the core public services such as health and education collapse due
to lack of funding. The rapid decline of Zimbabwe’s economy is destroying the
very fabric of our society and will take years to rebuild."
In urban areas, there is rampant mass starvation and mass poverty
underlined by a shortage of basic commodities due to the depreciation of the
Zimbabwe dollar, fixed at US$55 to 1 for four years now, and now trading at $700
to US$1 on the parallel market. This has negatively affected prices of scarce
products on the parallel market, which are now three times on the average price
on the supermarkets.
Five years ago it was estimated that 75% of the population was living below
the poverty datum line. Today, at least 85% of Zimbabweans are living below the
poverty datum line.
The health system is close to total collapse, especially in the state
managed system where there are critical shortages of drugs, food, and even
cleaning materials. This is a direct result of the fact that government has
substantially reduced budget allocations to the health system preferring to use
the money on funding the nefarious activities of militias and the increasing the
size of the cabinet, which has been comically, named the ‘war cabinet’.
50 percent of school going children are not in school, and undeniably, this
affects the girl child the most. 65 percent of all girl children are not in
schools. Those that are in school are faced with large class sizes, a shortage
of teachers, low teacher morale due to political violence and intimidation and
poor working conditions. Books and other inputs to the school system are
It is now impossible for the forthcoming local
elections to be free and fair. Mugabe's has used the cover of the food crisis
and the high profile eviction of white farmers to launch a systematic attack
against MDC structures and supporters in order to paralyse their campaigning
efforts for the local elections. Widespread police collusion with Zanu PF
militia and war veterans has led to the abduction of MDC candidates, supporters
being arrested and a significant number of MDC candidates withdrawing from
election process. We cannot campaign in most areas, we are denied access to the
voters role, a fundamental benchmark for any free and fair election and have no
recourse to the rule of law. Those magistrates which rule against Zanu PF risk
attack, as demonstrated in Chimanimani and Chipinge recently.
As we prepare for the rural council elections, the regime has once again
garnered its strategies of intimidation and violence to prevent our nominees
from registering. Top on the list is the issue of intimidation and violence.
Some of our candidates withdrew or did not turn up on nomination day. Those who
were present had to then run for dear life after threats of attack by Zanu PF
supporters. We have reported cases of physical attacks in particular in Chegutu,
where there was the attack on the district chairman’s house. Another candidate
from Zvimba South was also attacked at the nomination center, and after that no
one went to register because they were afraid. The same situation prevailed in
Muzarabani and Shamva. In the farming areas throughout the country, we did not
have candidates because of the high concentration of war veterans who invaded
Another issue arising is that the Registrar General’s office requested long
birth certificates on the last minute. This demand was delivered to us verbally
less than five days before nomination, there is no legal backing for it, and so
some of our candidates were disqualified. In some parts of Manicaland, for
example in Chipinge, nomination centres were demanding that nominees should be
cleared by council, contrary to electoral laws. This requirement is for
candidates and not nominees.
Original sites were also shifted to ZRP camps, and this is clearly a
manoeuvre meant to intimidate MDC candidates. Elsewhere, MDC candidates were
told that their party had not paid nomination fees and again this is contrary to
the law because there is no fee required. In some areas for example Magamba ward
in Mberengwa West, where Zanu PF failed to field a candidate for nomination,
they extended the closing time for the nomination court until a name was
*NB. The Election Directorate of the MDC is in the process of compiling a
dossier of what happened during the nomination court yesterday through out the
country yesterday and this is available to you from the information department.
The democratic space in Zimbabwe disappearing at a fast rate and democratic
forces in Zimbabwe have a battle on their hands to protect this vital element of
our society. This is a battle we cannot lose, we owe it to our children and
future generations of Zimbabweans. Despite the odds being stacked against us, we
will continue to fight the local elections and maintain our position as the flag
bearer for democracy in Zimbabwe. A failure to do so would be a betrayal to the
people of Zimbabwe and a victory for Mugabe. Mugabe is desperate claim that Zanu
have destroyed MDC control of urban areas and portray the party as a party that
is on its knees and on its way out. Mr Mugabe should not be so naive, he may
subvert the electoral process yet again to achieve desired outcomes but he
cannot deceive the Zimbabwean people. They know who the real victors are, they
know who has legitimate authority in the country and represents the will of the
people. Our time will come, just wait and see.
Saturday, 7 September, 2002, 16:31 GMT 17:31
Zimbabwe farmers given new ultimatum
Farmers predict a stream of imminent
White farmers in Zimbabwe say they have been given new
deadlines to quit their property as part of the government's land redistribution
An insult to the country's judicial system and a blatant
disregard of the constitution
Justice for Agriculture
Justice for Agriculture, a farmers' lobby group,
said scores of farmers who ignored an order to leave their property by 8 August
have now been given until noon (1000 GMT) on Sunday to leave.
Many others have been told to quit within 72 hours.
Most of those told to quit by Sunday had received court orders nullifying
their earlier eviction orders, a representative of Justice for Agriculture (JAG)
Zimbabwe's white farmers
Out of a population of 13 million, 50,000 Zimbabweans are
white, of whom 4,000 are farmers
About 2,500 white farmers are now defying orders to leave
When Zimbabwe won independence from Britain in 1980, 70 % of
the best land was in white hands
12 white farmers have been murdered since land invasions began
in 2000 (JAG figures)
The new deadlines were an "insult to the country's judicial system and a
blatant disregard of the Constitution," said John Worswick.
"It is another blow to those farmers and farm workers still trying to
maintain production in the face of state-sanctioned harassment and violence."
The Commercial Farmers' Union reports that government officials have visited
25 farmers in the Chinhoyi and Karoi corn and tobacco districts northwest of
Harare since Thursday, issuing ultimatums.
Last week, President Robert Mugabe said time was running out for white
farmers holding out against land redistribution.
Mugabe: Time running out for white
"Those do not
deserve to be in Zimbabwe and we shall take steps to ensure that they are not
entitled to our land," he told supporters after returning from the world summit
Jenni Williams, another representative for JAG, has predicted that numerous
arrests will be made over the weekend.
"Our position has been that we are doing nothing illegal by remaining on our
farms and if we are to be arrested then we must pay that price," she said.
After the August deadline, 300 farmers were arrested for refusing to comply
but most were later freed on bail.
The Commercial Farmers Union predicts that maize and wheat output will drop
sharply in 2002, mainly as a result of disruption caused by the land reform
All that is necessary for EVIL to prevail is for GOOD people to do NOTHING
The Weekend Australian
Crisis not due to seizures: Mugabe
September 07, 2002
ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe yesterday denied
his Government's seizure
of white-owned farms had contributed to the food
crisis that is threatening
half the country with starvation.
absolute nonsense," Mr Mugabe said in an interview with
He described the redistribution of the land to
blacks as an important
program for uplifting the nation's poor. "It's the
only way you can empower
people to produce not just enough for subsistence,
but more, to enable them
to enjoy life and to enable the country also to
continue to export maize,"
Zimbabwe faces its worst hunger
crisis in a decade. An estimated 6 million
of the nation's 12.5 million
people are at risk of starvation, the World
Food Program says.
officials blamed the crisis on the drought that hit during the
and on Mr Mugabe's land redistribution program.
However, director James
Morris praised Mr Mugabe for dropping his objection
to genetically modified
food aid in a step that should encourage other
countries in the region to
accept badly needed aid from the West, even if
the food is genetically
Mr Mugabe had announced this week at the World Summit on
Development in Johannesburg that his country would not accept
maize from the
US, which cannot certify its food donations as GM-free. Zambia
adopted the same policy.
About 2900 white commercial
farmers were ordered off their properties last
month, although some had crops
in the fields. Many have defied the order and
about 300 have been arrested.
Mr Mugabe said white farmers, some of whom own
several large farms, would be
allowed to keep one farm of "appropriate size"
activists have accused Mr Mugabe of using food as a political
keeping government aid out of opposition districts and making
membership cards of the ruling party before they could
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan spoke to Mr Mugabe on the sidelines
summit in Johannesburg about Zimbabwe's human rights record, saying
"I did raise concern at the reports in the press that the distribution
food is being politicised."
The world summit ended in something of
an anticlimax on Wednesday night, as
delegates agreed to a plan to push
forward goals of sustainable development,
but with non-binding targets.
The dawn had not yet come, but the cocks were starting to crow, as the
orange streaks filtered across the early morning sky, and I lay in bed listening
to the sounds that were as familiar to us both, as breathing the fresh morning
Today was very different, this was our last morning on our beloved farm,
and we both lay distraught and sobbing as we would hear this no more, certainly
not whilst, the evil dictator, Robert Mugabe and his henchmen ruled this
devastated and starving country.
I came as a 22 year old bride to this wild
bit of bush, young, full of life and love, and fell instantly under the spell of
the beautiful Rhodesian/Zimbabwean bush. And now 35 years later, we were being
forced off our land, so that some "fat cat chef" of the Mugabe elite, could
claim our home, our life blood, and our children and grandchildren's inherited
It is the start of spring in Zimbabwe, and for those of you who have
visited my beautiful country, will know that for farmers, this is the start of a
new season. And a new season, brings with it, an uplifting feeling of joy and
life that is about to start a new cycle. All one's hopes and dreams are started
at the beginning of spring, all past bad dreams and omens are forgotten, past
droughts and floods, invasions of army worm and other fungi, hail storms with
their punishing damage, everything is forgotten in that rush of adrenalin, at
the first sight of the Msasa trees unfurling their new colourful array of
leaves, in a paintbox of russets, burgundies, golds, pinks, and finally emerald
No longer to hear the women singing on their way to work, the men
shouting greetings to each other, the roar of tractors as they set out for work,
to till the rich soils. This farm has been silent for 18 months, as Mugabe and
his thugs, have murdered, raped and reduced all within their path to pathetic
and sad ruination. Cattle starved and hamstrung, domestic pets, stoned to
death, beautiful trees wantonly cut down, because their crime was to house
inquisitive monkeys, who would raid their pathetic attempt at "farming". Where
once fields of green wheat waved in the wind, with underground irrigation piping
to ensure bread for all, now lie fallow and full of weeds, the piping broken and
destroyed. Fences stolen to make snares to trap the wild game, introduced into
the small game park we started, to utilise land not suitable for cropping or
cattle. Don't listen to their lies of "drought"!! Sure there was a small dry
spell, but all could have been avoided by irrigating from dams, throughout the
country, which were all over 90% full!!
Giving land to the "landless
peasants", is a total lie, it is a "free for all Ministers, Police and Army
hierarchy, and Zanu pf party thugs, to lay their hands on property that they
have not paid for. In the free world it is called "looting and theft"! when
you take something that you have not earned!
Our millions of dollars of
irrigation, is confiscated and stolen, we are not allowed to take our equipment
with us, it must be left behind, to be used and abused, then abandoned,
destroyed for ever.
My husband's family have been on the farms for 80 years,
and many of our workers, are third generation born on this property. Mugabe and
his henchmen, ZANU pf have destroyed this country, land is NOT THE ISSUE, just
straight theft, rape, and a blind rage to destroy a people who were sick to
death of his murderous reign, and the systematic looting of the country's
wealth, at the expense of his people.
No more to roam the grassy fields, with
dogs at heel, and birds atop, the kudu with twitching ears, the cough of the
leopard in the dead of night; the roar of the river in flood, the smell of the
tobacco curing in the barns, the hoot of the owls that roost in the trees, the
glorious smell of the first rains on the earth, after the long dry winter. The
lowing of the cattle, and the gentle whistle of the herdsman as he walks his
charges out to the pastures.
Dear God, if you are listening to our prayer,
save our wonderful country and its people from the evil that pervades this land,
bring us peace, oh Lord we beseech, and rid us of this nazi beast. Zimbabwe
cries out for justice, law and order, the return of people's human rights, and
an end to the murder, rape, torture and theft, by the ruling party, and may the
free world stop standing by, and end this hell on earth, and bring the
perpetuators to justice at the court in the Hague! Don't wait until 6 million
people are starved and tortured into submission.
I end with this poem to all
farmers in Zimbabwe, as my heart breaks and my tears flow, at such vast
destruction of my Beloved Country Zimbabwe.
ZIMBABWE FARMERS, TRUE SONS OF THE SOIL
NO GREATER LOVE HATH A "SON OF THE SOIL",
THAN BENEATH BLUE SKY TO WORK AND TOIL.
TO WATCH A CARPET OF FINGERS
RISE UP IN ROWS NEAT AND CLEAN.
FOR ONLY THEY FEEL MOTHER EARTH'S BEAT,
AS THEY RAISE THEIR CATTLE OF MILK AND BEEF.
GOD SMILES ON THE MAN WHO
NURTURES HIS EARTH,
INCREASES HIS GIFTS AND WIDENS HIS GIRTH!!
TO BREAK A ZIMBABWE FARMER'S SOUL,
IS TO DENY HIM THE RIGHT TO DISC AND HOE,
GIVE ME YOUR SOIL, DRY AND WEEDY,
AND I WILL FEED MY NATION'S NEEDY.
GIVE ME THE LABOUR TO TOIL WITH ME,
FOR WE ARE A FAMILY AS A SPREADING TREE,
THE TRUNK, THE BRANCHES, LEAVES AND ALL,
ALL TRADITIONALLY LINKED TO THIS "SON OF THE SOIL".
IN TIMES OF PEACE AND GENTLE CALM,
HIS HEART EXPANDS LIKE AN EVER REACHING PALM,
AND TOGETHER WITH HIS FAITHFUL WIFE,
THEY FACE TOGETHER, LIFE, AND WEATHER'S STRIFE.
YOU CAN THROW AT HIM, ALL MANNER OF ILLS,
AND FAITHFULLY HE WILL CONTINUE TO TILL,
BE IT FLOODS, OR BE IT DROUGHTS,
STEELY ENDEAVOUR, HE STRONGLY FLOUTS.
AND WHEN A NEIGHBOUR IS IN DESPERATE NEED,
A STEADY HAND, IS A FRIEND INDEED.
NEVER DOUBT MY PRIDE FOR THESE
WHOSE AWESOME STAMINA, MOST CANNOT KEN
FOR ONE I MARRIED, AND TWO I BRED,
WE MIGHT BE DOWN, BUT WE ARE CERTAINLY NOT DEAD!
SO THROW WHAT YOU MAY
AT THESE "EARTHY SONS",
THIS EVIL REGIME, THEY WILL OVERCOME.
A NEW DAWN AWAITS THE FAITHFUL AND BRAVE,
ESPECIALLY THOSE WHOSE ROOTS ARE ENGRAVED,
IN THE SOIL OF THEIR FARMS, AND THE ROADS THAT THEY PAVED.
WIVES ,TAKE THIS POEM TO YOUR HEART,
FOR OF THIS HERITAGE, YOU TOO ARE A PART.
IT IS AN HONOUR TO BE A MEMBER OF THIS TEAM,
AND MAY THE SUN UPON YOU, ALWAYS BEAM,
MAY YOUR RIVERS ALWAYS FLOW, AND YOUR DAMS BE FULL,
YOUR COWS NEVER EMPTY, AND YOUR SIRES FULL OF BULL!
EVERGREEN, AND YOUR EYES TO THE SKY,
AND ON THIS, YOUR LIBERATION DAY, FLY HIGH.