Commercial farmer slams UK Zim investment conf

via Commercial farmer slams UK Zim investment conf – The Zimbabwean 25 September 2015

Why are they in the UK when they despise white folk?

The following is the text of a letter from a former commercial farmer to Sharon White, a partner in the UK legal firm Stephenson Harwood, which is hosting a Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Forum in London this week.

Both yourself and the senior partners at Stephenson Harwood have a legal and moral obligation to listen carefully to what myself and a number of other Zimbabweans have to say with regard to you allowing a delegation of Zimbabweans, which includes a number of senior government ministers and politically well-connected individuals, to use the Stephenson Harwood premises to once again “dupe” the British public into investing in a so-called investor friendly Zimbabwe. In reality there is nothing further from the truth. We attended a similar investor forum in 1985 and lost millions in the process!

I have at least had the decency to write to you five days before the forum, whereas we were only given an hour to vacate our farm under the instructions of one of the individuals you will be hosting!

Apart from them having blood on their hands, they are all directly responsible for the economic and political collapse that has seen Zimbabwe go from being the bread-basket of Africa to the basket-case of the continent! Apart from being totally corrupt, their racist attitudes are unacceptable in this day and age. Why are they in the UK in the first place, when they openly despise white folk and preach hatred towards us while back in their own country?

Look East policy
I’ll tell you why, because their Chinese masters have pulled the rug from underneath them, their “Look East” policy has failed, the agricultural sector is a total failure and they now have to import maize from neighbouring Zambia and South Africa. They are totally reliant on foreign food and financial aid. They are absolutely desperate and are now grabbing at anything and everything!

They blame it all on the drought or Western sanctions, yet the dams are full. But they chose to loot and steal all our irrigation equipment on the farms and smelted it down into aluminium ingots as they’ve done with all the copper wire from our rural phone lines. It’s one of the richest countries on the continent in terms of mineral wealth, yet the sector is confined to the corrupt political elite. Ask how the ex-minister of mines amassed his fortune. We can answer that for you, but would prefer it if you did your own due diligence.

Folk in the UK talk about a couple of hundred thousand Syrian refugees seeking refuge in Europe. Have you ever given thought to the four or five million Zimbabweans who live in exile in South Africa, the UK and the USA because of these same deceitful individuals who will be here to spread more lies about a non-existent economy?

Investment forum
In 1985, five years after Zimbabwe gained Independence from Britain, a number of us (South Africans and British) attended a similar “investment forum”, where we were duped into believing that our farming expertise was required by the Zimbabwe government in order to revive the agricultural sector. Mugabe told us that there was room for everyone to farm in Zimbabwe. A number of us took up the challenge, believing that our investments would be safe, as the offer came from the president himself. How wrong we were!

Having completed a thorough due diligence exercise I went ahead and purchased a farm, which came with the relevant Zimbabwean Government “letter of no interest”. In other words the Zimbabwe Government did not object to me purchasing this farm land – which happened to be derelict at the time  –  and they had no intention of farming it themselves. Over the years we invested in excess of £5.5 million in this model farming operation. We employed 280 permanent staff who lived on the farm along with their families.

They were housed in electrified houses. We built a clinic and a school and they all had land on which to grow vegetables. In addition we allocated 100 acres on which the workers grew maize for their own use. We supplied the fertiliser and seed and prepared the land for them. Every acre on the farm was utilised. We generated much needed foreign currency for the government coffers. We grew a variety of summer crops including maize and invested in a state-of-the-art irrigation system which enabled us to grow a Winter Wheat crop. We also ran a large livestock operation with over 2 500 animals.

At gun point
On the instructions of a senior government minister we were given an hour to get off our farm, at gun point, leaving everything behind including the crops in the ground, millions of Pounds worth of farm equipment, over 2 500 animals and all our personal belongings. We left the farm that day with the clothes we were wearing and nothing else. They stole everything we owned! We’ve never been compensated a single penny for what these individuals stole from us and today the farm lies in ruins with our home being used as a brothel, all the equipment stolen, not an animal left on the farm and no crops in the ground!

We had every dollar tied up in our crops in the ground and in farm chemicals, fertiliser and diesel etc. They stole it all and you expect folk like me to ignore the fact that you are encouraging a bunch of thieves and liars to do the same to the British investor community as was done to us? We fell within the maximum farm size bracket, we created employment, we grew maize which is the staple diet, we paid our taxes, we paid for youngsters from the farm to go to university, we paid for the teachers and health worker on the farm, when we had a spare tractor or two we cultivated lands belonging to a chief in the area, we kept out of politics, we never once fell foul of the law. We met all the relevant government criteria apart from one issue … we were white!

There are 12 of us plus our legal team here in the UK. We intend serving papers on two of these individuals and will be accompanied by one of your senior partners in the process of doing so. We have had 5 000 brochures printed outlining the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, how it has got to this, who is responsible and why, which we will distribute outside your offices the day before and on the day of the forum. We do not want to see British investors being lied to by these individuals.

Justice system
We are sending out over 2 750 emails to senior executives and CEO’s of companies listed as being your clients. Over the past month we’ve had a team working on establishing a communications link with every one of them. We are openly querying why you are granting these individuals the opportunity to use the Stephenson Harwood premises to lie to the British public about non-existent investment opportunities in Zimbabwe? We also have a prominent UK radio station prepared to allocate four hours of air time to us leading up to this forum, which we intend using to outline what is going on in Zimbabwe.

I’m sure you’d feel the same way as we do were you in our shoes, considering the justice system in Zimbabwe is totally politicised in favour of the ruling Zanu (PF) party and the fact that we’ve exhausted every legal avenue on the African Continent. This has left us no alternative but to seek legal recourse via various other options.

I’m not interested in being compensated for my land, but I want to be compensated for our farm improvements which included a multi-million Pound dam, all our farm equipment, included 23 tractors, lorries, irrigation equipment, greenhouses etc, all our livestock, our crops in the ground at the time and all our personal possessions.

I attach a number of recent press articles which should be enough to convince you that what you are doing by allowing these individuals onto your premises, is morally wrong. – Zim Farmer, by email

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 22
  • comment-avatar
    Gomogranny 5 years ago

    The thieves in Government should read this article very carefully. And know that ordinary Zimbabweans are sick of being represented by people who think stealing other people’s property is ok. We are sick of it.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe Cool 5 years ago

    The answer to the writer’s question is “hypocrisy”, which is also practised all over Africa by the British Government.

    • comment-avatar
      Gomogranny 5 years ago

      Joe Cool – until Africans embrace the idea that TWO Wrongs will never make a RIGHT then we will continue down the route of disaster and poverty….the answer is: NO IT IS NOT OK TO STEAL other People’s belongings be you British or be you Zimbabwean. Whether the British did in 1900 or continue to do it changes nothing….it is wrong full stop.
      We are sick too of these childish responses of “WELL HE does it so why not us?”. It’s like listening to a couple of 6 years olds having an argument….Actually Zimbabwean politics is just like listening to a bunch of six year olds only not as amusing!

  • comment-avatar
    R Judd 5 years ago

    It is impossible to have a prosperous society if property is not secure. All mature adults know this instinctively. The implication therefore is that the ruling class in Zimbabwe are in some way defective. Robert Mugabe is defective that is why he cannot act like a mature adult.

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 5 years ago

    The British may have been hypocrites but in 35 short years from 1945-1980 they sure did leave a lot of infrastructure across the country. And then we had the Zanu Hypocrites who in 35 years have built what?

    • comment-avatar
      Kevin 5 years ago

      Grabmore, the infrastructure that made up the totality of what was Zimbabwe in 1980 was not built between 1945 and 1980. It was an accumulation of development that began in the 1890s. For example all but two of the dams that provide Bulawayo with water were built before 1945 and the other two were built between 1945 and 1975 and since then no a single dam has been built. Bulawayo had two dams (the Hillside dams) built by Leander Starr Jamieson in the 1890s to provide Bulawayo with a reliable water supply, he was also the Chairman of the Bulawayo Golf Club in 1895.

  • comment-avatar

    How is it possible to help you guys– WHAT CAN I DO??–Would “THE ZIMBABWEAN” do a follow up???LET PEOPLE KNOW!!

  • comment-avatar

    Excellent letter to these lawyers. I have no idea whether the lawyers will get the message. I suggest a copy is sent to the Law Society of England and also Investors Chronicle and the main British newspapers. Anyone investing in Zim under ZANU has too much money/not enough sense.

  • comment-avatar
    IAN SMITH 5 years ago

    ZANU is nothing but a den of evil monsters led by a greedy demon.
    The Zimbabwean people are so docile as to permit them to continue persecution of the hard working and innocent.
    ZANU will now turn on each other to have the final blood bath and expose their internal rot for all to see as the plunder runs out.

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 5 years ago

    Snap, Sharon. Absolutely right and you have worded your letter beautifully. We had three homesteads on our farm and absolutely everything we owned and had worked for for 40 years, including our personal belongings for ourselves (pensioners) and our children and grandchildren, have been grabbed by a greedy woman who has worked her way, and destroyed, 15 farms. Not one cent has been paid in compensation. We are relying on our children to help us live. It is disgusting what those thieving swine have been allowed to do.

  • comment-avatar
    Hingwe 5 years ago

    It is bad what we do as Zimbabweans. We need God intervention in such situations. We blacks also do not like what is happening in Zimbabwe, but because we are lovers of peace we live with hope that God one day will heal our land for the better. We all need to pray to break the devils covenant of stealing and destruction. Only God can heal the country let us all pray for the day to come and stop accusing each other, because that does not help but fuels more hatrage. Love for one another, and respect is the only medication which can reverse the curse on Zimbabwe. Let us all stand together and pray for a miracle to happen for our beloved country. Some of have been living outside Zimbabwe for 15 years and we keep praying that one day God will answer our prayers and give us a genuine leader who will look at all Zimbabweans as not foreigners.

  • comment-avatar
    grabmore 5 years ago

    If the justice system was fair… mapoliticians would have no answer to such farmers. May wee, too keeerevah

  • comment-avatar
    william mills 5 years ago

    The dumb-arsed white people (wp) who invest in Africa should remember the maxim: ‘fools and their money (stuff) are soon parted’. WP who think of living in Africa should be thinking of establishing and maintaining a well equipped security (army) force. Failing this, sell and get out whilst you can–and don’t go back to the hell-hole until you do. Always guard against what I call the B’wana complex, as they are never going to like or respect you just because you are a good person.

  • comment-avatar
    Newnation 5 years ago

    First of all SORRY FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU so painful. Your anger means a lot of love for what you were doing. Who knows tomorrow is another country. Things may change for good. We are equally supressed by the current system. We are all learning, having seen the good side of Zimbabwe in the 70s and 80s we cannt bear the current situation. Why we are in this situation we all know but we will prevail. A democratic state will be born in Africa. Farming is about using money to get more money if you dont have any in the first place you dont get anthing. They didnt know this when they were taking those farms. they cant do anything with them. Time will tell. God bless Zimbabwe.

  • comment-avatar
    VaChihera:Professor 5 years ago

    In the 19th century, there was a scramble for Africa from the North.The continent went through very ‘harsh’ colonization. This was followed by political but not economic decolonization in the 20th century. The damages to Africa ran into countless loss of lives, culture and property including land. Post independent Africa and Zimbabwe is trying to correct some of these damages. In the process some mistakes happen. We should pay attention to both mistakes and successes, develop tools to reconcile.
    The 21st century is the ICT Age. We should use this to build bridges across the world and reach out to each other. This means that those who were unfairly treated should try ride above high emotions, reconcile and work for millions suffering from poverty, disease and lack of stable jobs standing at 76%. We should avoid painting 13 million people with the same brush. This would be prejudice/racism. We need to repair our value system such that any individuals who abuse public funds and assets are eposed and legally dealt with.
    Zimbabwe needs FDI to promote agriculture, manufacturing and develop the vast natural mining resources. Let us support investment initiatives. We have a well educated and hardworking population ready to develop the country. While others are the present, Africa is the FUTURE. VaChihera: Professor

  • comment-avatar
    familyguy 5 years ago

    As long as these old regimes like ZANU pf or any remnants of their best beings are still in power it’s all but senseless to put any dime for investment. What should happen is to put them on a tight squeeze till they give in. Thousands of people have died, persecuted for a different political ideology, cholera denialism, millions left with no choice but to flee their beloved countries, a place where businesses have no protection for their investments. What more reason does anyone want to justify not deals with these wolves.Gross Injustices have been committed against Zimbabweans black and white if you are not in ZANU camp

  • comment-avatar
    Chikoza 5 years ago

    Say what you want how want but white people had it coming,The British govt will compensate them when its time.How you are feeling is how our grandfathers felt when land was grabbed from them.Why?Whites continue to believe they should be compansated by the Zim govt ,as if they belong to some higher class.They think that hindering investment by penning letters here and there will bring back the sunshine in their “oh we are so victimised life”I am not Zanu but i have no apologies for the whote African community being treated the way the were treated or worse.You should have offered half a loaf…but instead you thimbed your noses at the black govt.Now u have nothing,Gready Mufakas.!!

    • comment-avatar
      Tafzim 5 years ago

      @ Chikoza. You have obviously not read the letter properly. The author bought the land in 1985. Please vent your racial hatred elsewhere.

    • comment-avatar
      dubbozimbo 5 years ago

      Your an idiot. Hope you all starve…..slowly.

  • comment-avatar
    reason 5 years ago

    This is a cry of sour grapes from a former slave master. To start with, u never bought the land, but instead you grabbed from the blacks and forced them to labour for peanuts. Thus the reason for the blacks taking to guerrila warfare. After reconcilliation, you wanted to maintain rhe status quo, thus you were kicked out. So no matter how hard you try to distort the facts, we shall remain resolute & always demand equal partnership and not your win all partnership.

    • comment-avatar
      Gomogranny 5 years ago

      Poor Reason has no reason. It’s the 6 year olds again insisting on who are “resolute and always demanding” that two wrongs will somehow or other make a right. Those filthy Breeetish were thieves so we now have a right to be thieves too is your argument? You don’t seem to get the fact that our very Zimbabwean government(not the Breetish thieves)presented the writer with an invitation to invest and CERTIFICATE of no interest (the Breetish did not give her these things)so she paid up (and no doubt paid our government the tax on that purchase too)
      Your lack of reasoning Reason, is sensational. Now these filthy white farmers are apparently burning the country down as well…..stands to reason as well Reason? Check your racist reasoning ok?

    • comment-avatar
      dubbozimbo 5 years ago

      Your also an idiot, you deserve what you get. Good luck with Mugabes mistress running whats left into the ground. Watching you suffer makes my day, really it does.