From the publishers of African Tears - due to be launched in May
Thank you for your support, here with all the current info
available on Cathy Buckle's book African Tears.
Covos Day Books
PO Box 6996
COMMERCIAL FARMERS' UNION
Farm Invasions and Security Report
12th February 2001
Every attempt is made to provide a comprehensive report of ongoing
activities in relation to farm invasions, but many incidents are unreported due
to communications constraints, fear of reprisals and a general weariness on the
part of farmers. Farmers names and in some cases, farm names, are omitted to
minimise the risk of reprisal.
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF:
leader "Master Mdenge" is chasing farm workers out of their housing on Sinoia
Drift Farm in Chinhoyi.
The owner of Donore Farm in Chegutu has received a
Section 9 notice instructing the owner to vacate by the middle of May 2001. The
owner has not received any compensation after having offered his property to
Government, his farming operation has been wound down and he has got no other
source of income.
A group of 60 - 70 war vets had a protest march in Karoi,
singling out two farmers who they say are interfering with their plans.
owner and farm manager of Amajuba in Horseshoe have been given death threats
since they moved illegal occupier's cattle out of a fertilised rhodes grass
field last week.
On Nyadgori Farm in Norton, 500 cattle were herded into the
garden in order to try to extort money from the owner. The owner was not
allowed to get into his house and the situation remains tense.
manager on Rufaro Farm in Machke/Virginia reported that three illegal occupiers
were demanding $2300 for five maize plants allegedly destroyed by farm cattle.
Reports were not received from Matabeleland.
General - Several Section 8 Orders have been
issued to listed farmers.
Horseshoe - Illegal occupiers on Flame Lily have
been demanding to have the keys to the farm cottage. The owner of Amajuba and
the farm manager have been given death threats since they moved illegal
occupier's cattle out of a fertilised rhodes grass field last
Mutepatepa - Illegal occupiers drove cattle into fertilised rhodes
grass pastures at Minto last week. Dimon was reinvaded by about 40 people last
week, who have proceeded to build huts. About 30 head of cattle have been
driven onto Dunaverty by illegal occupiers today.
Shamva - In a meeting held
on Dawmill last week (attended by illegal occupiers, plain clothes policemen and
farm workers), the farm workers were told that they were not to go near any of
the regrowth maize on the farm as it belonged to illegal occupiers and that
despite the fact that the farm is not listed, it will be taken for resettlement
Beatrice - Illegal occupiers on Nebo
have built 29 huts on the farm and have claimed compensation for the farm cattle
eating their maize. Illegal occupiers on Highlands are destroying cattle
troughs and damaging the farm.
Bromley/Ruwa - A group of 8 individuals
arrived around midnight on Glen Avon farm, 2 armed with pistols, 1 with an AK, 1
with a .303 and 1 with a shotgun, asking where the manager's son was as they
wanted to go pig hunting with him. Hut building continues on
Enterprise - At 10pm on Thursday night a shot was fired close to the
homestead on Lawfield farm. The police reacted with Support Unit and two
details were left at the homestead for the night as a precaution. It was
subsequently ascertained that an illegal occupier from the base camp was hunting
Harare South - 30 invaders arrived on Rusimbiro from Murehwa and stated
that they did not intend to interfere with the farming but asked for
accommodation and water. This was refused and they stated that they would have
to force this issue. Illegal occupiers that left Kinfauns on Wednesday returned
on Thursday/ Friday.
Marondera - Invaders on Uitkyk/Polotime have been moving
the owner's cattle around, leaving gates open and pushing them into crops. The
illegal occupiers then tried to move them onto a neighbouring farm, Carolina
where they stole some fencing wire. About 0.5 ha of katambora pasture was
ploughed up on Sunday by Tuna, Sarah Kazembe and 4 others with a privately owned
tractor on Marirangwe Farm. The police attended but nothing was
Macheke/Virginia - DDF tractors have been ploughing on Exeter and
Koodoo Range. A delegation approached a farmer asking if they could have half
of his tobacco. The farm manager on Rufaro farm reported that three illegal
occupiers were demanding $2300 for five maize plants allegedly destroyed by farm
cattle. Some tobacco was stolen from a farm and paprika from a neighbouring
farm. There is an outbreak of Theilerrosis on two farms due to tick infested
illegal cattle ploughing on the farm. The farms have been placed in quarantine
and the Animal Health Inspector has been informed but no efforts have been made
to move the illegal cattle. Illegal occupiers are still occupying tobacco barns
on a farm despite instructions from the police for them to vacate. Several
illegal occupiers arrived back on Mignon and planted soyabeans in a land about
to be planted to sunflower seed. A new invasion was reported where the DA
reacted and advised that illegal occupiers were there on their own initiative.
The owner was granted a court order and the police have gone to serve it, albeit
reluctantly, as the farm is not listed.
Wedza - Switchgear has been stolen
from Waltondale Farm twice in two days. The suspects were apprehended. An
illegal occupier is selling river sand from a farm and the same individual fired
two shots, claiming to be shooting monkeys that were stealing maize that he had
planted. Two weaners have been killed, two cows wounded and a cow and calf are
missing from a farm in the district. An illegal occupier was arrested again for
tree cutting. There was a gun shot heard at Dean Farm. Seven armed poachers
were arrested in the area and taken to the Marondera police station by a
security firm. Another calf has been slashed and will have to be destroyed on
Mashonaland West (North)
Chinhoyi - War vet leader
Master Mdenge is chasing farm workers out of their housing on Sinoia Drift
Karoi - On Sunday 11th February about 16 gunshots were heard between
Buffalo Down Farm and Nyamanda Farm in the early evening. Illegal occupiers are
accusing the owner of Moniack Farm of sabotaging their crops and now they want
to claim compensation. A group of 60 - 70 war vets had a protest march in
Karoi, singling out two farmers who they say are interfering with their plans.
They ended up at Karoi Police Station where the police told them to disperse,
then went to the DA’s office to find out what they should do
Mashonaland West (South)
Norton - On Nyadgori Farm, 500 cattle
were herded into the garden in order to try to extort money from the owner. The
owner was not allowed to get into his house and the situation remains tense.
There was a break in on Sherwood Farm.
Chegutu - The owner of Donore Farm
has received a Section 9 notice instructing the owner to vacate by the middle of
May 2001. The owner has not received any compensation after having offered his
property to Government, his farming operation has been wound down and he has got
no other source of income. On Leny Farm, which has been fast-tracked, the
illegal occupiers violently retrieved three trailer loads of stolen goods from
the Mhondoro communal area. The owner has received a Section 9 giving him until
the middle of May to vacate the property, similarly with no clarification on
compensation. On Farnham it appears that the dairy bull died brutally as a
result of invaders stuffing barbed wire up the bull's anus.
Kadoma/Battlefields - On Kanyemba Farm there was an armed robbery at the
farm store where the criminals fired five shots and escaped with an unspecified
amount of cash.
Masvingo - Nothing to report.
General: A quiet weekend in most areas, apart from ongoing usual
Gweru: For the past three weeks, shooting with automatic weapons
has been heard at night.
Somabhula: There has been increased Agritex
increased activity in pegging farms recently. On Dawsons Farm (Sid Shaw), a DDF
tractor is ploughing haphazardly.
Burma Valley - The
illegal cattle movement in the area is causing concern.
Mutare District -
Cynara Farm and En Avante Farm received section 8 orders this morning. There
has been no improvement on Mountain Home.
Headlands - Over the weekend, MP
Mutasa and the Land Committee viewed Fairfield 3, 4 and 5 and Headlands Estate,
Edenvale and Sunrise farms, none of which have been listed.
Malcolm Vowles, Deputy Director (Admin & Projects) 04 309800-18 firstname.lastname@example.org
Zimbabwe - Politics and the Church
Letter to the Editor, Dear Sir, I write as a
mission partner serving with the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and in response to
a number of requests from friends in Britain for my perspective on the current
political situation in Zimbabwe and the role of the Church in relation to that
situation. I will be blunt because I believe the time for diplomatic language
has gone. Too much is at stake and the present situation is far too grave for
In the 1960's and 70's the people of this beautiful
land suffered under the despotic rule of Ian Smith and his Rhodesian Front. His
government was rightly dubbed a rogue, racist, minority regime (I was one of
those who experienced it at first hand). Today the people of Zimbabwe are again
suffering under a cruel yoke, and the present government can equally, or with
greater cause, be termed a rogue, racist and minority regime - a rogue regime in
that the President and other members of the Executive have deliberately and
repeatedly violated the Constitution (impeachment proceedings are under way in
Parliament against the President); racist in that the President has, for his own
short term political advantage, singled out a small group of Zimbabweans, the
white commercial farmers and other whites bracketed with them, and subjected
them to vitriolic attacks and threats of violence; and a minority regime in that
it now represents only a small minority of Zimbabweans - those who have enriched
themselves beyond measure at the expense of their fellow Zimbabweans. Yet still
these self-serving politicians cling to power, despite the appalling cost. A
rogue state then with a racist, minority government, and the sooner this reality
is known and acknowledged by the wider Church and the international community
The ruling elite of ZANU PF only manages to remain
in power by the systematic abuse of all the powers of state at their disposal,
using radio, television and the national press as instruments of party
propaganda, the police, army and intelligence service as the enforcement arm of
party policy, and all national assets as the treasure chest of ZANU
(Comparisons with Milosovic in his heyday are not out of order). So far
as the ruling party is concerned everything, and everyone, is expendable in the
interests of keeping the party in power for ever. Violence and lawlessness are
used in quite deliberate ways to instil fear into the hearts of any who would
dare to challenge the party's supremacy in any area of the nation's
That Zimbabwe is in urgent need of land reform to
correct historical imbalances is not, and never has been, in dispute. The
consensus however is that any successful land reform policy must proceed on the
basis of just and equitable principles, legally adopted and ensuring
transparency and accountability. Change must benefit the genuinely landless and
be designed to ensure that the agricultural industry which is crucial to this
country, receives a stimulus rather than a death blow. By contrast the present
so-called "fast track" policy which treatens to destroy the whole farming
enterprise and with it the livelihoods of millions of Zimbabweans, is seen for
what it is - a political ploy to win time by a desperate clique of
In short Zimbabwe finds itself today under a
ruthless dictatorship which is resolved to use any and all the means at its
disposal to thwart the efforts of those who would move the country towards
freedom and democracy. The present leadership has demonstrated clearly by its
actions that it has no real concern for the welfare of the people. Anyone and
everyone is expendable to save Mugabe from facing his moment of truth. The
country has been plunged into the most severe economic crisis which has caused
rampant inflation, widespread job losses and fuel and food shortages. With the
country's ability to feed itself destroyed and foreign reserves standing at
about nil, the spectre of starvation looms large on the horizon.
In recent weeks we have also seen the independent
press vilified, threatened and then bombed. The judges of the Supreme Court
have been put under enormous pressure to resign and the Chief Justice illegally
forced into early retirement. Precious little remains now between the people of
this country and totalitarian rule. Week by week we edge closer to the
The unpopularity of the ruling party was clearly
demonstrated in the massive "No" vote in the Referendum on the proposed new
constitution last February and again in the June Parliamentary Elections.
Indeed without the use of massive violence and state-sponsored terrorism,
especially in rural Zimbabwe, there is little doubt that the oppostion party,
the Movement for Democratic Change (M.D.C.) would have romped home to a
comfortable victory in those Elections. This is borne out by the professional
survey of voters undertaken at that time under the auspices of the Helen Suzman
There is then a tremendous yearning for a radical
change of direction among the vast majority of the people of this country, and
at the same time a deep sense of anger and frustration that every move towards
freedom and democracy is ruthlessly suppressed. Only fear keeps the present
immoral regime in power.
And what has been the Church's response to this
onslaught of evil?
With all my being I wish I could say that the Church as
a whole, and the Methodist Church in particular to which I belong, have played a
worthy role in challenging injustice, condemning state-sponsored terrorism,
supporting the victims of violence and working for the return of the rule of
Honesty however prevents me from making any such claim. Certain leaders
and one or two other denominations (most notably the Catholics) have given a
clear and unequivocal lead, but otherwise the Church has remained strangely
silent. Tragically we have become yet another victim of the paralysing fear
deliberately created and used to such effect by the ruling party. We have
failed the people of Zimbabwe badly in their hour of need.
Who then will ever "loose the chains of injustice
...and set the oppressed free" ?" With great sadness and a sense of shame I
have to say I don't think it will be the Church. Rather when freedom comes, as
it will eventually (though not before a great deal more suffering) I suspect it
will be largely because of the courage and willing sacrifice of members of the
opposition party, trade unionists, and human rights' activists. With all my
heart I wish I could say better of the Church, but in all honesty I cannot at
Pray for us then if you will, and I urge you to
support those who are working sacrificially for justice and peace in
Yours truly, Graham Shaw