|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
A Southend businessman has been accused of forcing English farmers to flee their farms in Zimbabwe.
Stalin Mau Mau, 50, whose company owns the Zim-Link shop, in Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, is one of two Zimbabwean nationals being accused of farm invasions.
In transcripts viewed by the Evening Echo from a BBC investigation, British farmer Andrew Newmarch claimed he was visited at his Harare farm by Mr Mau Mau in May and June of 2000.
Mr Newmarch said: "He asked me to donate land for the Harare War Vets Association to use for high density housing. He said that if I said no to giving the land he did not think he could control the large group outside my office. If I agreed there would be no trouble."
Mr Newmarch is one of five farmers who claim Mr Mau Mau was pivotal in the forced reallocation of land to the Zimbabwean Government.
However, Mr Mau Mau insisted his involvement in the land allocation was during his time working to improve the Harare East constituency to stem resentment between poor black workers and landed white farmers.
He said: "When you are in politics and you enter a constituency you become aware of tensions between groups and attempt to resolve them.
"There was a critical housing shortage and I negotiated with farmers to donate some of their land to alleviate the problems."
Mr Mau Mau said the Government acquired entire farms and large swathes of land owned by white people after his involvement had ceased.
Published Monday June 21, 2004