Zimbabwe’s farmers face escalating violence and land invasions

via Zim farmers face escalating violence and land invasions | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Friday, May 23, 2014

The Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFU) has warned the there are escalating incidents of violence, intimidation and farm takeovers across the country, and called for an immediate moratorium on any land grabs.

Speaking in Harare on Friday, CFU President Charles Taffs said the recent deaths of a Guruve farmer and his daughter have added to rising fears about the safety of the remaining farming community.

Malcolm Francis and his daughter Catherine both died this month after being seriously beaten by as of yet unknown attackers near their Guruve farm.

Taffs said on Friday that this incident, together with ongoing farm seizures and intimidation, “fly in the face” of efforts being made to encourage foreign investment in Zimbabwe.

“There is a general escalation since December throughout the country, primarily in Mashonaland West and Central, with increasing incidents of intimidation, extortion and theft of property. We are also seeing the continuation of evictions, with people being summarily taken off their farms, including some with valid court orders allowing them to be there,” Taffs said.

He said a major issue contributing to this escalation was the involvement of “politically influential people taking advantage of the leadership vacuum seen in different districts.”

“This is having a negative impact on our country. We listen to our leaders talking about the protection of property rights, but it is meaningless unless there is action on the ground,” Taffs said.

He continued: “We have a recent statement from the ZANU PF politburo that BIPPAs (Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements) would be protected in the Save Valley Conservancy. But this has not happened.”

He added: “We’ve seen the recent invasions on the Tongaat Hullet sugar estates, an international company listed in South Africa and London. What more evidence can you put forward as a country that we’re not dealing with the property rights issue?”

The CFU meanwhile also launched a medical support fund for the Francis family to assist the family deal with the large bills they are now faced with. All donations will be used for medical bills, funeral and memorial expenses and for the relocation of the remaining Francis family members.

The CFU said that any surplus funds will transferred to the Farm Families Trust, which is still operating to give assistance to the many families affected by the land grab campaign.

Banking details are as follows:

ACC. NO, 0240026089502



  • comment-avatar

    Soon there will be famine in the breadbasket of Africa

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    there is a saying that the sins of the parents must visit their children. Bobs children one of them will surely suffer for the sins that he and his wife are bringing to people as well as these farmers who are being tortured.

  • comment-avatar
    Don Cox 8 years ago

    I cannot understand why any white people risk their lives by staying in Zimbabwe.

    • comment-avatar
      Petal 8 years ago

      @Don if you know someone in authority abroad bring it to their attention no one is willing to take these farmers but what do not understand the black community from zimbabwe are leaving in their droves claiming asylum abroad and they are accepted

    • comment-avatar

      Same reason why black people risk their lives staying.
      Its their country.
      You myopic person.
      I actually meant, you racist.

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers including the other political parties should give support to these farmers – these are state sponsored violence against these farmers why should the farmers pay for the medical bills when attacked by these state sponsored thugs?

  • comment-avatar
    Petal 8 years ago

    Is like the Foreign NGOS are not assisting people like these farmers who need the assistance and mixed race people but assisting those from the predominately black community they are being very unfair

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    Lest we forget, 4000 farmers have gone before!!!CFU were powerless then, even abandoned them, and they are powerless now…

  • comment-avatar
    andi evans 8 years ago

    All the farmers black/white should all pull out of Zimbabwe surely that would bring down this useless government Lets see who the starving masses will vote then, Zimbabweans who are stupid enough to put their trust in Mugabe and his cronies should stop complaining when they are the ones that have kept this tyrant in for 30 years WAKE UP ZIMBABWE