|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Saturday 24 August, 2045 local (1845GMT)
Still lots of farmers moving off the farms to Harare, waiting in anticipation for the new cabinet, but don't hold out much hope.
Just hope that we will be paid something for our farms. It's not very pleasant living with other people, but at least I have a roof over my head, not like the workers from the farms. I don't know what is going to happen to them.
I'm hoping to see my lawyer on Monday to see if I can go back to my farm to collect the rest of my belongings.
I am trying to get permission to get back to get the rest of my belongings.
Went past my farm yesterday and the police followed me.
I think they want me to break my orders so that they can re-arrest me.
I don't know what is going to happen. But I still hope that sanity will prevail and the government will come to its senses and let the farmers who know how to farm and not the bank managers and politicians who are taking our farms!
With the help of neighbours and my two daughters we managed to remove a lot of the furniture but unfortunately did not have time to finish.
I am in the process of trying to get an extension (to the latest deadline for vacating my farm) so I can finish as I have still got cats and a horse and a fair amount of equipment and furniture.
At the moment I am living with friends with my household belongings stacked in a shed 80km away and my dogs in kennels in Harare.
Very dramatic and emotional.
But we will continue to fight through the courts and hope that we will be paid, even if I have to approach the British Foreign Office to pay us in the UK.
Wednesday 21 August, 1600 local time (1400GMT)
I left my home yesterday at 4pm as ordered by the courts. The police came to arrest me if I didn't.
But I left lots of my stuff behind - you can't back up 52 years in a few hours.
I refused to give the keys to my farm to the DA (district administrator), as I was instructed. As far as I'm concerned, it's my farm until I've been paid for it.
Nobody has said anything about compensating me for my farm.
But now I don't have anywhere to stay and no money to pay rent.
I'm staying in a room at my daughter's place but I can't stay here for ever. She and her husband have also just left their farm.
My lawyers are today filing my appeal against my eviction with the High Court.
We're taking the legal route but there's no law and order in this country.
Now, I'm just taking my dogs to some kennels in Harare. I hope there's some room as I hear the kennels are full of farmers' dogs.
Tuesday 20 August, 1250 local time (1050GMT)
Things are not going well today. I've got just three hours left to pack everything up and leave.
Three hours in which to pack up 52 years of life.
I'm out at my farm with my family and the police have already told me I have to go in three hours.
I can't say anything else today because there's not time.
I hope I'll have a chance to say more on Wednesday if I can get to a computer.
Monday19 August, 1945 local time (1745MT)
I've had a meeting with my lawyer today. On Tuesday, I'll file a challenge to my eviction order in the High Court. I can't go back to my farm or they'll jail me for contempt.
But I'm not giving up. I want the court to declare the order null and void.
If I can get to a laptop or a personal computer on Tuesday, I can get back to writing my diary again.
Monday 19 August, 1215 local time (1015GMT)
I've just left court in Harare, where the magistrate told me to leave my farm by 4pm tomorrow, which is a physical impossibility.
It's a nightmare. There is nowhere for us to go but we can't live here any more.
If you detain me, I will die in the cells
I'm going back to my farm now, to see what I can save.
I finally left my farm on Saturday evening, after the police said that they had instructions to detain me.
I was not feeling well at all. The stress of the situation had worsened my diabetes. I told them: "If you detain me, I will die in the cells."
I gave my word to turn up to court on Monday morning.
I then drove to hospital in Harare, where I was put on a drip.
I checked myself out at 2am on Sunday morning and stayed with some friends.
On Sunday, I went back to hospital. They wanted to keep me there but I told them I couldn't stay as I had to appear in court.
I just wanted to get this sorted.
Friday 16 August, 1900 local time (1700GMT)
Well back at last.
The visit I was receiving from the officer in charge, Concession Police Station, was to arrest me for defying the Section 8 order (eviction order) and not leaving my farm.
When he phoned me he said he was coming about the theft of my motor, when I asked him what information he had on it he replied that he was lying and that he had come to arrest me.
I showed them my Notice of Withdrawal from the Court on the 14 August and he said I should have left on the 10 August.
I said that I was a diabetic and need four injections a day and regular food with protein and carbohydrates, and it would be very difficult in prison.
They took me to the police station at about 1400 (1200GMT) and proceeded to warn and caution me.
I refused to say anything until I contacted my lawyer.
In the meantime my daughter had spoken to them and said that she was coming with my lawyer and doctor and that I needed Insulin.
I was consequently released at 1645 (1445GMT).
Their reason for releasing me was that they eventually had to take note of my Notice from the Court.
They then tore up the Warn and Caution Statement and said they had made an error and were very apologetic towards me.
I must say that I was very impressed with the police. They treated me well and were polite at all times.
But I am very relieved to be home, I understand that a lot of farmers have been arrested on (President Robert) Mugabe's instructions and I believe he is making a statement tonight.
Speak to you later.
From The Scotsman (UK), 9 September
Zimbabwe farmers brace for new deadline’s end
Jane Fields in Harare
At least two Zimbabwe farmers were barricaded inside their homes yesterday and dozens of panicked families packed up their possessions and left their properties, fearing arrest as a new government deadline for giving up their land expired. The latest twist in Zimbabwe’s bitter battle over land redistribution came after government officials and police last week went round three provinces telling farmers to get off their land with their belongings by midday yesterday. The ultimatum - which was made known by the farming crisis group Justice for Agriculture (JAG) but not confirmed officially - came exactly a month after a deadline for some 2,900 white farmers to leave their farms, which most ignored. Their defiance sparked a police clampdown, with more than 300 farmers arrested. Fears of a fresh wave of arrests were running high again yesterday, although none were reported. Most of the farmers ordered to leave have had their eviction notices ruled invalid by the courts, the JAG said.
"The farming community has been very tense because of this threat," John Worswick, the group’s vice-chairman told The Scotsman. "A lot of farmers have made themselves scarce. I think we’ll see a return back to the farms tomorrow." JAG had urged farmers to stay put. In one incident, a farmer in the fertile Doma area of central Zimbabwe was barricaded into his house on Saturday night after being "visited" by an army major who said it was his farm. The farm shop was looted yesterday and a tractor taken. Alan McCormick, a farmer from Guruve in northern Zimbabwe, said he had spent the day trying to remove his belongings. "They’ve said anything left on after today is no longer our property," he told The Scotsman, by phone, adding that he had listened to the local farmers’ radio network and heard a war veteran telling farmers they had to leave. "I think the majority of farmers have decided to move out," Mr McCormick said. "We thought things were just progressing quietly, but now it seems there’s a major drive on." He suggested that the latest deadline was part of a government strategy to break farmers down so that land could be taken without compensation. "Some farmers are pretty close to breaking point ," he said.
Mr Worswick said the deadline was "absolutely" part of a government strategy of intimidation. While the threat "had actually turned out to be a damp squib" - given the lack of incidents - he insisted farmers would be "still vigilant". Zimbabwe’s white farmers are increasingly weary after two and a half years of farm invasions and a dozen fatal attacks. Under President Robert Mugabe’s land reform programme, all new black farmers were supposed to have moved on to their land by last weekend. Farmers report that many of their "replacements" appear to be cronies of Mr Mugabe – far from the landless peasants initially touted as the beneficiaries of land reform.