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Sent: Sunday, April 23, 2000 11:36 PM
Subject: cfu update - Masvingo Region update

  Sunday, 23 April, 2000 Sitrep, 2:01 PM
Regarding the incident on Lavanga Ranch, Chiredzi. Please note the

Approximately at 08:00am on 22/4/2000 2 game scouts picked up a
snareline. They followed this snareline and found 7 poachers with 5
Impala that had been snared, wire snares and all the poachers armed with
bows and arrows.

Approximately 10:00am they called in assistance via their radio system
to the nearest game scout unit. Another 4 game scouts and a driver
reacted and at approximately 14:00pm arrived close to the scene and had
to walk the rest of the way in. At approximately 16:00pm the game scouts
and driver were intercepted by the war vets and taken "hostage".

They were made to sing slogans - "forward with the ruling party and the
President and down with the opposition and its leader."

There was a lot of politicizing.

There were about 50 war vets amongst them and some well known people
from the adjacent communal area.One being an ex- game scout.

The war vets wanted to use the vehicle. The driver played this down by
saying that it would not start.

The war vets found that the vehicle did start and they then said that
the driver was following a different agenda and had to be punished. They
made him lie down on his stomach. They cut a branch and said that his
punishment would be 10 cuts. They lashed him 10 times after which they
gave him another 2 saying that this was his "pansella".

They started up the vehicle and drove around. It appears that they
bumped into something because the front u-bolt broke. The brake line
also broke.

It appears that they picked up another worker from the farm (not part of
the game scouts group) pushed him around, slapped him, beat him and then
kicked him. He was not seriously beaten up.

The war vets released the group of game scouts approximately 17:00pm
whereby the game scouts arrived back into base around 18:15pm.

The war vets confiscated 2 shotguns, 1 303 rifle, 5 Motorola radios and

The war vets did indicate that if the vehicle belonged to Jeremy
Otterson they would have burnt it and killed all the game scouts.

Member in Charge at Chiredzi dispatched a unit. C.I.O and C.I.D has
recovered the confiscated equipment and are presently at the Chiredzi
Police Station.

Statements have been taken from the game scouts involved.

Police did indicate that this incident would be thoroughly investigated.
Although the equipment was recovered, no arrests have been made yet.

The driver that was beaten up has been taken to Chiredzi Hospital by the
Police for a medical examination.

Clive Stockhill mentioned his concern to the Police regarding what would
appear an upsurge in poaching. There are a few Black Rhino on the
property and Levango Ranch is being authorized as custodians in terms of
Section 37 of the Parks Act. Police have indicated that the Public
Relations Officer would be sent in to form a Crime Watch Community

There is definitely a link between the war vets and the poaching

The Police have indicated that the perpetrators of beatings and poaching
that have occurred must be prosecuted.

There is definitely a concern for Jeremy Otterson's safety. The War Vets
did indicate that they do not have a problem with Senuko Ranch, but that
Levanga Ranch and its owner have been targeted.

There has been a further farm invasion in Mwenezi District. The war vets
numbering 27 were very friendly and indicated that they were instructed
to do so. They have planted a few pegs and after doing so have left the
property. They originate from Chiturapasi communal area.

The property affected is the following:

Farm Name: Groenveldt Ranch

Owner: Samuel (Buks) Viljoen

Farm Manager: George Viljoen.

This farm actually falls under Matabele South. The owner is a member of
Mwenezi Farmer Association which comes under Masvingo Region.

There is definitely an upsurge in poaching taking place in Gutu /
Chatsworth area. It would appear that these perpetrators are taking
advantage of the war vets.

The rest of the region is very quiet.

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