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Farm Invasions And Security Report
Friday 18 October 2002
This report does not
purport to cover all the incidents that are taking place in the commercial
farming areas. Communication problems and the fear of reprisals prevent farmers
from reporting all that happens. Farmers names, and in some cases farm names,
are omitted to minimise the risk of reprisals.
Middle Save - Some farmers were issued with Section 8's over the weekend. Some new, some repeats.
Chipinge - Most of the listings last Friday were new.
Rusape - A farmer letting his dog out in the evening was shot at. He was carrying a torch and it is thought he interrupted an attempted burglary. Later that same evening a cattle truck full of cattle was fired at on the main road, 10 km before Rusape. The culprits ran into the road to stop the truck, but the driver ignored them and then they opened fire. Neither the driver nor any of the cattle were injured. It is thought these two incidents are linked. A farmer has a manager’s cottage on the farm in which there are archaeological artefacts, including a human skull. He was arrested for murder and held for several hours until a lawyer arrived. The murder charge has been dropped; the farmer is awaiting further developments.
Tsatsi - Out of a radio call list of 60 families in the Tsatsi F.A. (Barwick) only six families are still in their homesteads. Poaching and vandalism continue unabated. Settlers have moved into all the houses. On one particular farm the settlers evicted all the farm workers stating those from the Chiweshe area were the only people allowed to remain in their houses. Theft and break-ins continue.
Mvurwi - The situation on the ground remains the same. Incidents of theft of electrical equipment remains high. Less than 10 farmers have tobacco seedbeds in. Reaction from the police force varies.
Glendale - There is no change within the district. Farmers are dealing with ongoing labour problems. Packages for farm workers have been paid in some cases. The new wage proposal is having negative effects on future farming. There are high reports of theft especially over the weekends. The police are disappointing.
Beatrice - On Monday 14.10.02, four farmers were visited: two were asked to report to Beatrice Police Station on 15.10.02, the other two appeared before the Beatrice Magistrate and charged for not vacating their farms after expiry of their Section 8 orders and released on $5000.00 bail and remanded until 19.10.02.
Harare South - two farmers were told to vacate their properties within 24 hours.
Enterprise - Farmers with Section 8 Orders were told to vacate their properties, even those whose Section 8 orders were nullified.
Bromley/Ruwa/Goromonzi - A number of farmers were given 24 hours to vacate their properties. One farmer, his wife and daughter were severely assaulted.
Macheke/Virginia - six farmers were visited and one farmer told to vacate his property by 17.10.02.
Banket - Quiet.
Doma - Very quiet. Problems with labour on going.
Karoi - Glen Ellen Farm is under huge pressure from "war vets", who caused a work stoppage. Police are to intervene. At Nyahowa Farm police removed the "war vets” who had evicted labour from their homes. They have also taken the farm owners cattle. At Runnimede Farm an Army major has taken over a few plots on the farm, and the owner is under pressure to assist the major in his farming operations. The Coldomo Farm owner paid the SI 404 package as the farm is leased. The labour was dissatisfied and barricaded in the farmer. Trying to get the police to react. Illegal settlers are becoming more and more militant. Zimyewe Farm suffered a work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages. Farmer was held hostage on Friday afternoon and was forced to sign a piece of paper to pay the SI6 packages. The farmer was told by the D.A. to carry on farming. Rugari Farm settlers were instructed to move off but have resisted. They locked in the farmer and put up road barricades. Kururama Farm had a two week work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, which action was driven by retired Major Mapinga. The owner is unable to grade his tobacco. Jambo Farm is in its third day of work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, all of which is instigated by retired Major Mapinga. Kilindini Farm (O Johnson) is also in its third day of work stoppage by labour demanding SI6 packages, again instigated by retired Major Mapinga. The farmer cannot grade his tobacco, which is of great concern. Elephants Walk Farm labour threaten to strike, which action is once more driven by retired Major Mapinga. Dentrow Farm faces labour threatening to strike. The farmer cannot grade his tobacco, which is of great concern. The issues at Meiden Farm and Tengwe Estates are still not resolved. 90% of their tobacco ungraded.
MASHONALAND WEST SOUTH
No report received.
Masvingo East and Central - Nothing to report.
Chiredzi - Poaching and snaring continue as hunger takes over in this area.
Mwenezi - Stock theft is on the increase while owners have been unable to return to their properties. On Farm A five cattle are missing. On farm B 10 are reported missing and on Farm C seven are reported missing.
Save Conservancy - Poaching and snaring continue.
Gutu / Chatsworth – the farm manager at Farm E went to see the Gutu Police last week concerning a certain "war vet” causing problems on the farm. The "war vet" had posted a Police constable at the farm gate and was refusing entry into the homestead, as well as demanding the removal of the remaining cattle from the property. Owner eventually had to move the cattle walking them some 45 km for their own safety. The owner had already relinquished several other properties in return that this farm be left for him. The DA Gutu had been out to this farm the week before and told settlers the property was theirs to do with as they wished. The Deputy DA Gutu / PA Masvingo was aware the owner had gone through the courts and had legally offered his remaining farms in exchange for this one. After many attempts to meet with several Government Officials, as well as obtaining a further letter from the PA, the owner was told to attend a meeting with the DA at Gutu. At this meeting he was politely informed he could have 500 ha at Farm E excluding the homestead or 2000 ha in the Lowveld. The owner then met with the Governor on 17.10.02 and told by the Governor that he was unaware of any of the problems. He stated he was off to a Lands Committee meeting and he would put the case at the top of the agenda. Farmer F had four cows in calf stolen overnight. Farmer G suffers continued harassment, eg the switching off of water taps etc, from the settlers. Stock theft continues on this property.
The situation presently remains quiet with no reports of farm invasions or harassment from any of the farming areas.
Earlier this week, it was reported from Shurugwi area that a farmer experiencing problems from illegal occupiers / gold panners was assisted by the authorities in clearing them off his farm.
In the circumstances, most Midlands farmers who are financially able are busily engaged in preparations for the new farming season.
No report received.