|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
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
NATIONAL REPORT IN BRIEF
· Reports mainly centre on the arrest, detention and release of farmers throughout the country.
Chipinge - There are approximately 15 farmers off their farms, farming by telephone.
Burma Valley - On one farm there was a labour strike on 23.08.02, resolved on 24.08.02. There is still unrest from the labour, who are wanting an increase of 100%.
The rest of Manicaland is quiet.
No report received.
Beatrice - three Farmers went to court: they were remanded out of custody on bail of $5000.00. One farmer is not allowed back on to the property. Additional bail conditions for the other two are not known. In general theft ongoing of sprinklers, housebreak ins, fencing, and cattle slaughtered and stolen, grazing burnt. Settlers were settled on one farm where there is only a Section 5.
Bromley/Ruwa - four farmers went to court and were remanded out of custody on $5000.00 bail until the 2/9/02. They were allowed back on to their properties only with police escort.
Enterprise – two farmers have been to court and released on technicalities.
Featherstone - one farmer went to court, released out of custody on $5000.00 bail and remanded until 30/8/02 not allowed back on to property.
Harare South – three farmers went to court: one is remanded until 30/8/02, bail of $5000.00 and not allowed back onto property. This FA not aware of the bail conditions of the other two. In general, one farmer was barricaded in his house but this was resolved. A bushfire was lit on one farm and the dam was also netted. The farmer was told to vacate his farm. On another farm a cow was slaughtered.
Marondera – five farmers went to court: all released out of custody on $5000.00 bail, with different remand dates and are allowed back on to their properties to wind up business and move assets, accompanied by a police detail.
Macheke/Virginia – five farmers went to court: four were released out of custody on $5000.00 bail, remanded to 30/8/02 and are allowed back on to properties to wind up business and move assets. Not aware of the bail conditions yet for the fifth farmer. In general, one farmer returned to his farm to find his labour had been chased out of the farm village. Wedsec security was told to move out of Macheke Club. Various problems experienced with payment of labour with regards to S.I 6. One farmer had damage to his farm village. General theft including 3km fencing, 10 irrigation pipes, 4 tyres and 4 wheels. On one farm the foreman’s wife was beaten up. One farm received a Section 5. One farmer returned to his farm to find a barricade, so entered through another route.
Wedza - 17 farmers went to court: they were released from custody on $5000.00 bail with different remand dates and different dates to wind up business. They are allowed back on to the property with a police detail. Two farmers went to the police station, were questioned and released. In general, there are various disputes with regards to S.I. 6. Two houses on one farm were broken into.
Beatrice - An elderly, partially disabled member of the community was severely assaulted by three people, one of whom was armed with a revolver. The motive appeared to be theft, stealing money, a TV, microwave, clothing, a hand held radio, a .303 rifle, two shotguns and a revolver. The .303 was later recovered. CID attended and fingerprints were lifted.
Macheke/Virginia – five farms were visited by Ministry of Lands officials and a Policeman asking why the owners had not vacated their farms. Some of these farms had been de-listed.
No report received.
MASHONALAND WEST (SOUTH)
Norton - On Windsor Farm the owner finally sold his dairy herd after all the intimidation that he faced. On Tilford the owner has now sold his entire beef herd due to all the interference that has taken place. On Farnley a uniformed army man with a weapon was seen in the company of the main settler from Beersheba where the owner has just moved out. In general, there is huge pressure being brought to bear regarding S.I.6 payouts on most farms, and most farmers are paying out at this stage.
Selous - A large number of farm owners remain off their farms. On Umfuli Banks the A2 settler came into the owner’s house, stopped tobacco grading, flower picking etc. On Lot A of Cromdale the owner was also evicted by an A2 settler and a number of the workers were arrested for resisting the eviction.
Chegutu - On Oldham Estate from which the owner was absent due to his arrest, the DA came out and wanted to know why the livestock were still being fed and watered, as this was illegal. All the geese, chickens, peacocks, ducks etc have been moved off by S.P.C.A. Some looting has also taken place on the property. The D.A. also left ten militia on the property. Minister Chombo was seen on the property as well. Some of the few farmers that had not received Section 8's previously are receiving them now.
Kadoma/Chakari/Battlefields - Less than 10% of farmers still remain in their homes, with the majority of homes occupied illegally by A2 settlers and government officials. On Inniskilling Farm the owner has finally moved off on the advice of police, even though they admitted he was not illegally in his own home, as a Section 8 had not been received. Although he was able to move off most of his property, the authorities refused to allow the moveable assets from his boreholes to be removed.
Masvingo East and Central – the Beauly Farm owner met with the DA, Masvingo and Police Officials, concerning queries from individuals as to his extension of time given in writing by the DA Masvingo until the end of September. The owner was told that he has until 31.08.02 to remove the rest of his belongings. He is then not to return to the property.
Chiredzi – the Bangala Ranch owner was given a letter by the DA, Chiredzi enabling him to remove some equipment from his workshop. Two other farmers went to assist. The settlers were not happy with this and barricaded the owner inside his property for two days. This was reported to Police who did not respond. Late afternoon 25.08.02, two Police details and Ministry of Land officials arrived to try and resolve the problem. Settlers were informed the owner had been given written permission. Settlers had already stormed security fence twice and were very angry, hostile and vocal. The situation was resolved.
Save Conservancy - Nothing to report.
General Comments - Barclays Bank of Masvingo are said to be phoning all their clients to enquire as to whether they have been given Section 5 or Section 8 Notices. Many problems continue all over with labour making demands for payments and retrenchment packages.
No report received.
No report received.
Note that a section 8 order is NOT an eviction order. According to section 9 (1) (b) it constitutes notice to the owner or occupier to cease to occupy, hold or use land (45 days after 10 May) and notice to cease to occupy the living quarters within 90 days (i.e. 9 August).
Failure to vacate the living quarters may constitute the crime of contravening section 9 91) (b) (ii) for overstaying but it is only if and when the owner/occupier has been convicted that the court should issue an eviction order.
|31/08/2002 15:32 - (SA)|
British politicians, and their media in alliance with certain sections of the South Africa media, will regurgitate their unmodified jargon about Zimbabwe - "all the problems start and end with President Robert Mugabe".
The opposite is also assumed - get rid of Mugabe and Zimbabwe will be on the road to recovery.
Undoubtedly, Mugabe will use the summit to endear himself in the world of international diplomacy. He will cry foul as a victim of British machinations, that it has not yet sunk into the British political psyche that Zimbabwe is no longer Rhodesia. It is a free country - Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, the Brits will portray Mugabe as the man dragging Zimbabwe down the drain. Hence, a bit of Zimbabwean history is necessary.
White settlers brought capitalism to Zimbabwe during the 1890s. While committed to the free-market economy, the settlers were not comfortable with competing with the indigenous black people. Hence, they undertook to deliberately disempower black people. They therefore seized land belonging to black people.
With the emerging mining industry, many blacks were driven to work for low wages in the mines. Those who did not make it to the mines were allowed some land ownership, but barred from mass commercial farming.
Contrary to the racial connotations that blacks cannot produce en masse, and only produce to eat, many of the black farmers at the time were quite well-off from farming. As a result of this threat to white settler farmers, many blacks were driven into the reserves.
Also of concern to the settlers was the possibility of blacks ascending to the middle and upper classes, particularly in the cities. Consequently, the settler administration limited time periods during which blacks could work or stay in the cities. A similar restriction was extended to black mineworkers.
In the second half of the 1940s, the white settler population in Zimbabwe grew considerably. As a result, the then Rhodesian administration implemented a British model of a welfare state. It included the subsidisation of white farmers (just like the Americans and the Europeans are doing now), the reservation of quality jobs for whites only and the undermining of the means for industrial growth of black people.
In short, this was a white settler developmental state. Basically, the white settler regime did all it could to structurally entrench white privilege on the one hand and black poverty on the other.
Put succinctly; both white privilege and black poverty in Zimbabwe were primarily politically driven. Thus, Zimbabwe's crises are not simply a matter of the rule of law and the so-called "right economic fundamentals", but mainly political. In short, they need a political solution. The question is, what kind of politics?
Despite the structural constraints from the settler Rhodesian administration, Mugabe's regime did relatively well in the first four years of liberation, particularly in land redistribution programmes. However, this was not sustained for various reasons.
These included the World Bank-imposed structural adjustment programmes. In addition, white farmers convinced all and sundry that they were the only viable producers of food - therefore land redistribution would be unfortunate; the Brits and Americans failed to honour their undertaking to fund the land redistribution process; and some within the black ruling elite grabbed for themselves massive commercial lands rather than redistributing them to the most deserving.
Moreover, the white population disengaged itself from public political engagement, opting instead to hang on jealously to their properties and disregarding the necessity to share the land with their fellow black citizens of Zimbabwe. They made themselves into an economic community island in the midst of black poverty and landlessness.
This is a lesson for white farmers in both South Africa and Namibia, namely that the white socio-economics of exclusivity among the sea of black poor and landlessness is one of the ingredients for chaos such as that witnessed in Zimbabwe.
Namibia's Sam Nujoma has already drawn the attention of white farmers in Namibia to this realisation. While state officials in the South African government have assured the white propertied in this country that the Zimbabwean situation will not happen here, they nevertheless cannot guarantee that.
Political situations such as those of Zimbabwe are not necessarily planned by a government - they originate with the masses or a certain powerful sector of society. Therein, the government has the choice either to squash such protests violently or condone them, such as Mugabe has done.
Ideally, the land question should be debated seriously at the summit. Land is one of the central assets in sustainable development. It is the basis of shelter, food production and capital development. It would therefore be unfortunate if the summit were to be caught in political machinations between Mugabe and his British political foes.
While Mugabe has lost the plot in Zimbabwe, he is correct to argue that land resolution is a political issue. It is first a political issue before it is a legal issue. In fact, British concern about Zimbabwe is as political as it is economic. Much as the South Africa's DA concern about Zimbabwe is as political as economic.
Both the British government and the DA are concerned about the well-being of white farmers in Zimbabwe. While there are justifiable concerns when Mugabe resorts to giving his cronies land instead of a genuine redistribution, it is also malicious to assume that food productivity is incapable without white farmers.
Whites are not born with genetic dispositions to mass farm production. Farming is an acquired skill. Zimbabwe's agricultural industry can prosper in the hands of black people. The same applies to Namibia, South Africa and anywhere else in Africa.
While Mugabe may have reached his "sell-by date", it is fallacious to reduce part of an unfortunate history to one man. Colonialists such as Britain need to own up to their contribution of chaos in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.
The Brits cannot be colonisers and yet wear the hat