Saturday, April 05, 2008

(HERALD) White former farmers threaten blacks with eviction

White former farmers threaten blacks with eviction
Herald Reporters

AN increasing number of white former commercial farmers are reportedly threatening resettled black farmers throughout the country with eviction from their farms or face the wrath of an anticipated "incoming MDC government". In Chiredzi, white former sugarcane farmers and conservancy operators have reportedly returned in their droves, threatening to repossess their plots in anticipation of an MDC victory. This has raised fears and apprehension among a host of newly-resettled farmers who benefited under the Zanu-PF Government’s land reform programme.

Some of the sugarcane farmers who spoke to The Herald yesterday expressed concern over incidents of white former farmers in Mkwasine, Hippo Valley and Triangle who were threatening to return to plots they previously owned.

The newly-resettled farmers said the white former farmers were allegedly camped at Malilangwe Conservancy on the outskirts of Chiredzi town where they have been staying since the run-up to harmonised elections.

Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union secretary-general Cde Admore Hwarare last night warned the white former farmers against any attempts to repossess land in Chiredzi, saying that such moves would be fiercely resisted.

"Let no one fool himself or herself that they can repossess land in Chiredzi because we are going to resist that. The land was allocated to us by the Government and we have got security forces who are prepared to defend the right to our land.

"Let it be known that there is nothing like that going to happen in the Lowveld as we are prepared to defend ourselves," said Cde Hwarare.

White former commercial farmers in the Lowveld have been resisting the land reform programme where they had maintained a stranglehold in the multi-billion-dollar sugar industry.

In Mashonaland East, the Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC faction’s proposed Agriculture Minister and newly-elected House of Assembly representative for Marondera Central, Mr Ian Kay, reportedly told workers at his former Chipesa Farm that he would soon be repossessing the farm that was acquired by the State at the height of the Land Reform Programme.

While Mr Kay could not be reached for comment yesterday, workers at the farm said that he had told them that he would be demanding to be paid rent for the past seven years since his eviction from the property.

Yesterday morning, a rifle-wielding Mr Thomas Beattie is said to have gone to Cde Bright Matonga’s farm in Chegutu with a gang of five or six men and told workers that he would soon be "reclaiming his land".

Mr Beattie only left when farm workers organised themselves and made it clear that they would not tolerate his presence on the property.

Cde Matonga, a ruling Zanu-PF MP and Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity in the last Cabinet, confirmed the incident.

Reports of white former commercial farmers threatening new owners with eviction started emerging early this week following reports that the MDC was likely to win the harmonised elections.

Such cases have been reported at Paarl, Impofu and Bougainvillea farms in Mashonaland West as well as in Norton where the former farmers were seen taking pictures at various farms.

Speaking at a Press briefing yesterday, Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans’ Association chairman Cde Jabulani Sibanda said: "We have received reports from villages and farms that there are white former farmers moving around the country threatening to invade the farms.

"This is a second invasion after the first one in 1890 (but) then the whites had some guns and we only had spears.

"If these elections result in an invasion of the country instead of a fight for parliamentary seats, then these people must know that there are other freedoms outside democracy," he said.

Cde Sibanda said Zimbabweans had a right to their land, minerals, natural resources and if need be their freedom to choose their leaders.

"Under these conditions, we do order those involved in sanctions, supporting and funding the invasion of our land to know that we have the capacity, strength and, far and foremost, willingness and determination to defend our revolution and sovereignty," he said.

The war veterans’ leader said although Zimbabwe had had free, fair and credible elections, the process was done under the pressure of sanctions to reverse the gains of independence.

"The West has organised and imposed illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe and we want to tell people to ignore activities of Europe in supporting the opposition and employing sanctions to weaken the party, Government and revolution," he said.

"Our country was taken away in 1890, we fought a protracted struggle to recover it and the process is still on. We gained political independence in 1980, got our land after 2000, but we have not yet reclaimed our minerals and natural resources.

"The fight for freedom is still on until everything is recovered for our people."

Cde Sibanda said the war veterans are still solidly behind President Mugabe.

"This is a battle between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries, Zimbabwean people represented by President Mugabe and foreign interests through the MDC and we will continue supporting him," he said. However, the MDC-Tsvangirai party said it had no intentions of reversing the gains of the liberation struggle by handing back farms to white former commercial farmers.

Reacting to the reports that some white ex-farmers had threatened to repossess farms in the event of a Morgan Tsvangirai victory, opposition spokesperson Mr Nelson Chamisa said they would not undermine the agrarian reform.

"Land is a national heritage and asset which belongs to all Zimbabweans. No people-centred government would seek to undermine the desire and need for land reform. As the MDC, we have underscored that there is no going back to the pre-2000 era," Mr Chamisa said.

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At 2:46 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Here we go. The MDC had better be serious about not reversing the land reform program, because if they aren't, there is going to be a civil war.

At 3:01 AM , Blogger MrK said...

"We have received reports from villages and farms that there are white former farmers moving around the country threatening to invade the farms.

So much for the pretense of respecting 'the rule of law'.

So much for waiting for any kind of land tribunal, as the MDC originally had put in it's manifesto.

What makes the MDC believe that these individuals will respect them or their government?

At 6:03 PM , Blogger MrK said...

From the MDC's agenda:

Land and Agriculture

Towards resolving the land issue once and for all

* MDC supports a systematic land reform that benefits the black people of Zimbabwe not the ruling elite and their cronies and one that is sensitive to the economic and societal needs providing food and jobs.

* An MDC government will conduct a land audit of the chaotic land grab to ascertain who owns which part of land.

* An MDC government will form an independent Land Commission that will design a land tenure system that will redress and rationalize the corrupt and self-serving land reform done by the ruling party.


So much for 'waiting for a land tribunal' or a 'land audit'.

These Rhodesians do not believe they owe any respect or allegiance to the MDC. They served their purpose, now get out of the way.

It also shows what their sudden found allegiance to 'the rule of law' was all about - convenience.

They were happy enough with a 'rule of law' that allowed them to buy stolen African land on the cheap, and get free labour and all kinds of support as well.

But when it came to redress that balance, all of a sudden the law had to be obeyed.

Now, they are just scrambling for African land again.

If they need to farm so badly, let them scramble for land in Australia.

At 5:22 AM , Blogger MrK said...

On all the pressure that was brought to bear on Zimbabwe:

(SPIKED) Zimbabwe and the new Cowardly Colonialism

At 8:40 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Land Reform and Small Commercial Black Farmers In South Africa

Creating the black commercial farmers in South Africa
Samuel M. Kariuki

At 11:39 PM , Blogger MrK said...

How come Zimbabwe and Tibet get all the attention?
If a government wants to abuse human rights and rig elections, it needs to have the support of - or be - the western powers
Seumas Milne The Guardian, Thursday April 17 2008

At 9:47 PM , Blogger MrK said...

No going back on land issue - Newly resettled farmers

Posted: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 15:04:56 +0200
Newly resettled farmers in Mvurwi have reiterated that there is no going back on the land issue amid reports that some former white commercial farmers have been visiting their properties claiming an MDC Tsvangirayi victory in the recent harmonized elections.

Newly resettled farmers in Mvurwi have reiterated that there is no going back on the land issue amid reports that some former white commercial farmers have been visiting their properties claiming an MDC Tsvangirayi victory in the recent harmonized elections.

Observers say such reports conform to the contents of a secret document allegedly written by the MDC Tsvangirayi faction detailing how 200 farms will be given to the former white farmers once the faction is in power.

The Zanu-PF District Coordinating Committee Chairperson for Mazoe Bernard Nyangoni and other farmers confirmed these reports.

Meanwhile Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena says in Mashonaland West province two MDC vehicles inscribed Mashonaland West have been observed going around farms terrorizing resettled farmers.

He said the occupants of the two vehicles allegedly assaulted resettled farmers at Uhuru, Nakazi and Chigwell farms in Chegutu and Kadoma adding that investigations are still in progress.

The opposition MDC has been on record for condemning the land redistribution exercise saying they will return land to the whites if elected into power.

Observers say such utterances make them conclude that the document tallies with what is on the ground.

The document contains plans which include taking vehicles from doctors, traditional chiefs and repossession of other benefits given by government.

At 10:30 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Rhodies spoiling for dangerous fight

By David Samuriwo

TWENTY-EIGHT years after Independence, the defeated former Rhodesian forces have regrouped. They have now successfully organised and mobilised their human and financial resources under the banner of the MDC. The move is aimed at denying Zimbabwe freedom to freely choose and explore its own development path.

During our protracted liberation war, most white commercial farmers were attested members of the Rhodesian army. Senior officers in that army have weaved their way into leadership positions of the MDCs. These include Giles Mutsekwa of MDC-T, David Coltart of MDC and many others. With unprecedented funding from the British and other Western governments, the former colonial forces are now itching for a re-match with the former liberation forces comprising Zipra and Zanla forces.

Zimbabwe’s National Liberation War Veterans’ Association under its then chairman Dr Chenjerai Hunzvi fruitfully negotiated with Government an allotment of 20 percent of all land redistributed during the land reform programme. That arrangement unwaveringly thrusts the war veterans in pole position as the chief defenders of the agrarian reform programme.

The agreement has also precipitated a potentially explosive confrontation with the former Rhodesian forces hiding under the banner of the MDC. Perhaps the impending physical confrontation can still be avoided if sanity prevails on both sides. Maybe, but judging from actions of the former Rhodies it might be too late to steer clear of an open confrontation.

When President Mugabe was sworn in as Prime Minister on the eve of Independence in April 1980, he embarked on a potentially explosive undertaking where members of Zanla and Zipra, the victorious guerilla armies, were integrated into a national army that also had to provide somewhere to stay for the defeated Rhodesian forces. A peaceful integration was inescapably achieved.

However, events that unfolded last week on both A1 and A2 farms countrywide especially in the provinces of Masvingo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central need to be looked at gravely and there is also a need to unravel the calamitous consequences that could be triggered by the reckless behaviour of the former Rhodesian forces.

In Mhangura, Marondera, Caesar Mine, Mvurwi, Centenary and elsewhere, the former Rhodesian forces visited the commercial farms they once held giving lawfully resettled farmers, most of whom are former liberation fighters, 10-hour notices to vacate the farms. Gun-totting and in an insolent mood numerous parties were held to celebrate their purported return to the farms in anticipation of victory by Morgan Tsvangirai. They can never be a greater provocation or humiliation to the former liberation fighters that surpasses such action.

Situated just a few kilometres from Caesar Mine in Mashonaland Central Province, Wheels-Bridge Farm owned by one Phillip has of late become a suspicious hive of activity. It is one among the many places where celebrations to mark a purported MDC-T victory and the return of whites to their former farms took place. Farm workers were left completely bewildered. The confidence and the aura of invincibility displayed by the former commercial farmers left most of the workers shell-shocked.

The soils at the farm are awfully fertile and before the land re-distribution programme, Phillip used to benefit from the use of over 2 000 hectares all alone. Following the land reform programme, he was allocated well over 500 hectares-most of it arable and where he continuously makes good returns from tobacco and maize crops. His labour pool is envy to neighbours.

Phillip has co-existed harmoniously with his fellow A2 farmers, sharing new farming technology, security information and a host of other compelling issues. Life could not have been any better. All this abruptly changed a few days ago when the prominent farmer played host to a hoard of former commercial farmers who descended on his farm to celebrate a perceived MDC-T victory that would become a prelude to the return of the Rhodesian security apparatus into the agricultural sector.

This is an open and confrontational challenge to the former liberation forces that has been widely accepted by the rank and file of the ZNLWVA. In fact there is nothing wrong in celebrating any kind of victory, even an imagined one. What is wrong is the humiliation of a victorious army on its home turf.

After the party, and perhaps having had one too many the white former commercial farmers moved from one A2 farmer to another giving them 10-hour notices to pack their belongings and return to the rural areas where "you belong". Their language was dangerous; "You took away our farming implements, you took away our land and we will not allow you to leave here with anything including your donkeys". From that day, a chain of events unfolded and Wheels Bridge Farm will never be the same again. Phillip has completely lost the trust his neighbours had on him.

Former commercial farmer at Horta Farm, a few kilometres from Wheels Bridge, another Phillip, is a Rhodie basking in glory. Having recently won a court ruling that gave him back his farming implements which were under the custody of his former manager, under some arrangements that authorised the former manager the use and custody of the equipment, the man wasted no time in celebrating Tsvangirai’s purported victory. Indeed he had a cause for celebration.

His efforts in identifying former farm workers who used to reside in the Mazowe West constituency and other surrounding wards, providing them with transport and food so that they cast their vote against President Mugabe must have been a formidable task to the Forrester Estates manager.

Brothers, Tim and one Naison inappropriately called ‘‘Chimbetu’’ after the legendary Sungura singer could also not be left out of the celebrations. They were also there at Wheels Bridge looking ahead to happier times once more. Unfortunately, things turned upside down for Tim.

After being allowed by one A2 farmer to use a few hectares of land at Mondesny Farm, also in the same neighbourhood for a couple of years, Tim had everything going pretty well on his side. As news filtered that Tim was one of those celebrating "the return of land to the whites", his landlord gave him 10-hours to pack his bags. Pyrrhic victory if one may call it.

In Marondera, a white former commercial farmer earmarked for the Agriculture Ministry, under a new MDC Tsvangirai dispensation Ian Kay, wasted no time in visiting his former farm now home to over 500 people. His language was blunt and to the point. "I am going to be your next Agriculture Minister so guys be prepared to move out anytime. This is my place and I do not intend going anyway else." Such was the awe and shock unleashed by the MDC-T’s surrogate mothers despite a lukewarm denial by the MDC-T that it is not going to return land to former white commercial farmers.

Perhaps there is every reason to forgive these surrogate mothers. Zimbabwe dominated all World news channels from March 29 to March 31 with every agency predicting an overwhelming win by the MDC-T. But some of the white farmers just went overboard.

The worst scenario took place in the Mhondoro Game Park formerly owned by yesteryear football great Bruce Grobbelaar. Those who passed by the lodges were greeted with a barrage of tracer bullets lighting the skies as celebrations took on an unprecedented turn. Gerry was there, Nicole drunk himself into a stupor and Baas Manzeve, as he was popularly known by his farm workers had to be restrained from uttering the "kaffir" word to the bartenders repeatedly. The whole bunch lived in a fool’s paradise that evening only to wake up to the sober reality of a neck-to-neck race between Zanu-PF and the MDC-T in the parliamentary vote count.

Tim, Phillip and "Chimbetu" are former soldier boys. By returning to properties acquired by Government with rifles slung over their shoulders the former Rhodesian forces are chewing more than they can stomach — a fact they are aware of.

Countenancing a situation where the British would intervene on their behalf is foolhardy and at most wishful thinking. It is a pity that some of the white former commercial farmers are reading too much into Gordon Brown’s posturing the same way Tsvangirai fell for Tony Blair’s monkeyshines. Never mind the infamous document attributed to Tendai Biti inviting the likes of Colonel Lionel Dyke to head the Zimbabwe National Army. That is not going to be possible in the anticipated future. A fight to the finish is in the making and fortunately; the terrain and its features are like fish in water to the former guerrillas.

MDC-T shadow minister for defence; Giles Mutsekwa and former Rhodesian security forces are inseparable. They both share insidious fond memories of the massacres they committed at Nyadzonia in Mozambique and Mulungushi in Zambia. The emergence of the MDC on the political arena has given them a new lease of life as they falsely clad themselves in democracy robes when only yesterday they constituted the last line in defence of the Ian Smith regime.

The gratuitous humiliation of war veterans who have settled in the former commercial farms is a recipe for open confrontation between the former liberation forces and loose ends of the former Rhodesian forces that have chosen to defy the rule of law in anticipation of protection from the MDC in the unlikely and unfortunate event that the party attaints the reigns of power.

The war veterans are aware that their former enemies have now regrouped under the banner of MDC-T. It is a pity that the majority of the MDC-T supporters are young men and women, most of them born after the war. The message, however, has to be put across to them boldly so that they understand the dire consequences of supping with former Rhodesian forces.

Ex-Zanla and Zipra forces will never allow a situation where the Rhodesian forces disguised as a political grouping can be allowed to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle in which thousands perished in order to liberate not only the former commercial farms but the entire land situated between Zambezi River in the north and the Limpopo in the south.

It is common knowledge that former soldiers who fought on the side of the Smith regime have now teamed up with British hired guns camouflaged as political entities to displace legally resettled war veterans from the farms. There is no doubt that this move will be resisted strongly using the only language the Rhodesians understand — the barrel of the gun.

Perhaps it is also important to remind the overzealous former Rhodesian forces that there may also be some among the former liberation forces who are also overzealous and are waiting for the slightest opportunity to deliver instant justice as revenge for those massacred in Mozambique, Zambia and in the war zones.

At 11:44 AM , Blogger MrK said...

‘Opposition thugs seek to reverse land reform’
Sunday Mail Reporter

THE cases of violence being reported around the country are no longer politically-motivated as they now seem to be more about reversing the land reform programme as evidenced by reports that the opposition MDC-T hooligans with the aid of some former Rhodesian forces are unleashing violence only in the resettlement areas, war veterans have charged.

It is understood that the opposition thugs are targeting A1 and A2 areas, not because of frustrations emanating from the ballot box but in a bid to ensure the return of former white farmers on the farms.

The war veterans have said the pattern developing from the pockets of violence show that these are no longer clashes due to political differences but clashes to reverse the land reform programme.

"This is no longer a political matter. It’s not political violence arising from the ballot but from land. It’s a silent war to reverse the land reform programme being masterminded by former Rhodesian forces with the aid of MDC-T thugs. The former white farmers think their hour has come and they can’t wait for an MDC-T government," said one war veteran from Hurungwe.

Another war veteran from Mudzi said the MDC-T hooligans were targeting newly resettled farmers under the A1 and A2 farms adding that war veterans would soon find a way to counter the violence.

"We will not watch as these opposition thugs together with some members of the former Rhodesian forces torment newly resettled farmers. What they are doing can even threaten the run-off because we won’t take this lying down," said the war veteran.

Reports say police in Shamva recently arrested 56 suspected MDC-T hooligans who had allegedly damaged a house belonging to the Zanu-PF district chairman for Ward 29 in Mashonaland Central, Mr Gore Chiyanike.

Inside Mr Chiyanike’s house were 21 bags of maize, eight bags of sunflower, a granary, a wardrobe and a bed that were destroyed by fire.

Also in the same area, a house belonging to Mr Godfrey Sumani of Number 11 Chiyanike Street, Shamva Gold Mine compound, had all its windows shattered while a bicycle, a kitchen unit, an electric fan, a room divider and sofas were burnt following the attack by the suspected MDC youths.

At the same compound, houses belonging to Miss Muusha and Mr Kashangura, a schoolteacher at Shamva Primary School, were destroyed by fire after attacks by the suspected MDC youths.

In addition to the 56 suspects that were arrested, police in Shamva are keen to interview Mrs Chikeya, who was the aspiring MDC-T House of Assembly candidate for Shamva North constituency; Mr Idoh Katumba, the MDC-T chairman for the area; and a Mr Mhene, who is also an MDC-T member.

Police say after causing terror in Shamva, the suspected MDC-T hooligans took their orgy of violence to Chisaka A2 Resettlement Area where they burnt nine houses belonging to Zanu-PF supporters.

Last week, the First Lady, Amai Grace Mugabe, donated blankets worth billions of dollars, clothing and footwear to victims of politically-motivated arson in Villages 1 and 2, Rusununguko Resettlement Scheme, Mayo in Makoni North.

Similar cases of violence against Zanu-PF supporters have been reported in Mudzi, Hurungwe and Matabeleland.

Commenting on these developments, the Secretary for Information and Publicity, Cde George Charamba, said Western ambassadors in the country were also fuelling the violence.

"Yesterday (Friday) Western ambassadors in the country went to the Avenues Clinic to see two MDC-T supporters who were caught up in the violence. They didn’t go to Mayo, not Hurungwe and not Mudzi where not only life and limb were put into jeopardy through the MDC thuggery but also grain which means a season’s harvest was destroyed. This is disgusting selective outrage. It looks like the ambassadors are here to sanctify MDC violence.

"Interesting enough, the geography of the MDC thug violence neatly coincides with areas of resettlement. Are we dealing with political violence or the land question here?" asked Cde Charamba.

It is understood that as the country heads for the presidential run-off, cases of violence will be played up in the international media to give credence to calls that the international community should supervise the poll.

At 5:18 PM , Blogger MrK said...

UK opposition leader calls for more sanctions against Zimbabwe
Fri, 06 Jun 2008 00:02:00 +0000

UNITED KINGDOM Liberal Democrats party leader, Nick Clegg has called for further sanctions against the government of Zimbabwe, the second time an opposition leader in the country has done so in a week.

Nick Clegg called on the government of Prime Minister Gordon Brown to halt all foreign currency remittances to Zimbabwe until after the elections, a move which is likely to hurt ordinary Zimbabweans.

Clegg said: “We must make clear to the Mugabe regime now that unless they agree to minimum standards for the June 27 Presidential election, we will act to cut off the supplies of foreign currency which help prop up their regime.”

In the statement, which was issued by Luke Croydon, Liberal Democrat Press Officer, Clegg acknowledges that this move is likely to hurt the ordinary Zimbabwean, but says that the British government had ‘no choice’, but to consider it.

“Of course this will have an effect on some ordinary Zimbabweans while the measures are in place. But we have a choice between taking tough action now or watching the long lingering death of the country,” said Clegg.

This is the second time British opposition parties have called on sanctions against Zimbabwe, leading some analysts to conclude that they are trying to gain political mileage using the crisis in the country.

On Monday this week, Conservative party Member of the European Parliament Neil Parish told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that there should be immediate regime change in Zimbabwe and that Movement for Democratic Change leader, Morgan Tsvangirai should be the President of Zimbabwe as he had ‘won’ the March 29 harmonized elections.

Earlier this week, Clegg and Tory MP, Andrew Robathan, took the British prime minister, Gordon Brown to task in parliament and pressured him to consider stripping President Robert Mugabe of the knighthood conferred to him by the Queen of England in 1994.

Brown’s response was very lukewarm: “I am less interested in the symbols than in the substance… and we have got to get international observers to be present at those elections so that they are seen by the world as free and fair.”

Clegg also said all other countries in the world should consider imposing ‘foreign currency remittance sanctions’ against Zimbabwe.

He said the “UK [should] block all foreign currency remittances to Zimbabwe that fund Mugabe’s odious regime, and … request our allies in the region, and the world, to do the same”.

But Brown was less enthusiastic, “I hope that the whole House will agree that that is the first priority to ensure that the elections are free and fair.”

Former Conservative leader, Michael Howard’s point on BBC programme, Daily Politics echoed Brown’s sentiments. He said the government would have to check carefully that such a move would not remove essential support from those members of the general public that rely on cash from overseas friends and family to survive.

Clegg whose party is a member of Liberals International where the opposition MDC is also a member has been critical of the Zimbabwean government since he won the leadership of the party.

In March he made headlines by saying the risk of violence in Zimbabwe would potentially be more dangerous than what was experienced in Kenya. There were approximately 300 deaths from pre-electoral ethnic clashes in Kenya and about 1,500 plus post-electoral deaths.

Clegg said "There is a very real threat of a Kenyan-style stand-off between the opposition and Mugabe's regime which is potentially even more dangerous, given the fragility of the Zimbabwean state."

Nick Clegg also made headlines in December 2007 after he defied political convention with a frank admission that he is an atheist — that he did not believe in God.

He later issued a retractive statement saying that, while he is “not an active believer” in God, his Spanish wife Miriam is a Roman Catholic and their two young sons will be brought up in the Catholic faith.

The latest call for more sanctions against Zimbabwe shows Clegg as potentially confused by which policy to adopt with regards to Zimbabwe.

Clegg has called Gordon Brown’s immigration policy inhumane because it would hurt ordinary people, yet his latest call would also hurt ordinary people.

"This Government has combined incompetence and inhumanity to create one of Europe's most inefficient and cruel asylum systems.

"Asylum seekers find themselves either treated with contempt or lost in a mass of government bureaucracy. The result is a stain on our moral authority as a nation," he said in March this year after an Independent Asylum Commission report attacked the UK's asylum system as 'shameful’.

Ironicallly, the Liberal Democrat leader has demanded an end to attacks on civilians in Darfur saying conflict should ‘under no circumstances’ hurt civilians, a move that contradicts his latest call to stop all foireign currency remittances to Zimbabwe.

itayia AT

At 3:06 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Rhodie group unearthed in Braeside
Herald Reporter

POLICE have launched investigations into the activities of a secretive group of former Rhodesian army officers who were holding clandestine meetings at the Memorable Order of Tin Hats Memorial Centre in Braeside, Harare, amid concerns that the group could be linked to military-style attacks being perpetrated on Zanu-PF supporters by suspected MDC-T activists countrywide.

War veterans and Zanu-PF youths in the area stormed MOTH Memorial Centre following a tip-off from members of the public before calling Braeside police to investigate activities there.

The place, a whites only bastion, which was accessed for the first time by a group of black people who do not work there last Wednesday afternoon, resembled an armoury with an assortment of weapons including guns, bayonets, machetes, grenades and tear-gas canisters.

Among the memorabilia were various badges of several Rhodesian Army units, helmets, camouflage jackets and pictures of prominent Rhodesian settlers.

Prominent among the plethora of memorabilia and armaments were the British and American flags, and conspicuous by its absence was the Zimbabwean flag.

Workers at the Memorial Hall said the ex-Rhodesian soldiers known as the Memorable Order of Tin Hats, held meetings three times a month on Sundays, except the first Sunday of the month. Some of their activities included commemorations of certain battles won against freedom fighters during the liberation struggle.

Among the memorabilia were flags and badges of feared military units during the liberation struggle such as the Rhodesian Scorpion Shellhole, that was notorious for atrocities against freedom fighters.

Among the successful raids against freedom fighters celebrated at the secret place included forays by the Burma Road Unit, Clickity Click Unit, The Valley Shellhole of 1969 and the Mashonaland Raiders of 1975.

Harare provincial police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau yesterday confirmed the secret meetings saying investigations were underway.

"In view of the isolated violent political cases happening across the country, police have instituted investigations into the purposes of these meetings.

"We are interested in the dealings of this group and police are currently on the ground investigating activities at the meeting place," he said.

He, however, indicated that no arrests had been made in connection with the meetings.

"The members would meet in the evenings and no black person was allowed into the room once the meeting was in progress. Only a few trusted workers were allowed to clean the place after the meeting," said some workers on condition of anonymity.

Residents of Braeside and Cranborne expressed outrage at the activities of the Rhodesian group whose memorabilia also bemoaned some raids that were not carried out.

"These are the people who massacred our colleagues during the war. The Rhodesian Scorpions were a ruthless unit that killed many freedom fighters. This flag reflects an aborted raid on March 4, 1976," said Cde Rodwell Zata, a war veteran.

The meetings, held under the cover of darkness and secrecy, come in the wake of several unsolved violence cases that have bewildered security agents in the country.

Two Zanu-PF supporters were recently murdered in cold blood by suspected MDC-T gunmen while several cases of arson targeting long-distance buses, commuter omnibuses and passenger trains have gone unsolved for months.

The violence that has engulfed some parts of the country has been attributed to rogue elements in the opposition who have vowed to make Zimbabwe ungovernable to warrant external intervention.

At 5:16 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice to be able to read Herald articles. The only reason the Brit establishment hates Mugabe is because he nationalised the land and handed some it back blacks. The Brit government couldn't care less about democracy in Zimbabwe or anywhere else--look its massive 20 billion arms deal with the Saudis.

I posted a link to a Herald article on my anti-war site some months ago. I checked it today and discovered that it is intercepted by a bogus message claiming that the Herald site is an "attack site". Don't know if this happens to UK surfers only or world-wide. Can the site be accessed from other countries?

At 8:22 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Hi Chris,

There are a lot of links between the way the Iraq war was reported on and the way Zimbabwe is reported on.

I don't know what happened to the BBC. They used to have a reputation for objectivity and evenhandedness, but somehow they decided to throw that reputation away to side with the MDC. All their reports on Zimbabwe are from the MDC's point of view.

And now the same thing is happening with regards to South Ossetia, Georgia and Russia. You would think that Russia just decided to attack Georgia without provocation, instead of the fact that Georgia first attacked South Ossetia, after which the Russians (over-) reacted. You also don't hear about the fact that Karl Rove and Randy Scheunemann (McCain's foreign policy advisor and lobbyist for the government of Georgia) visited Yalta a month before Georgia's attack on South Ossetia.

Somewhere along the line, the BBC became extremely partisan - especially the BBC World Service. Do they believe they have to mimic the government's position, that the World Service is now just an extension of the Foreign Office, or have they been infiltrated by neoliberals? It's hard to tell.

Whatever is the case, the people of Britain are not getting the full picture of the news, including on the issue of Zimbabwe.

I'll include this link to your MySpace page, as the site seems to be defunct.

At 8:23 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Manchester Anti War

At 1:44 AM , Blogger MrK said...

Resettled African Farmer Evicted from farm that belonged to German Corporation

Court says Zimbabwe wrong to take over German company's farm
By Lindie Whiz
Posted to the web: 14/12/2008 23:21:49
A GERMAN company has used a bilateral agreement to evict a black Zimbabwean farmer in the prime farming area of Figtree, Matabeleland South Province.

N & N Farming (Pvt) Ltd obtained an eviction order through the High Court in Harare on November 19. Justice Mavangira granted the order.

The Deputy Sheriff enforced the eviction order on Leonard Nzima, who was offered the piece of land, identified in court as Subsection 1 McGee Lucky Tweedale, through a government offer letter dated March 3, 2006.

The Deputy Sheriff, in the company of police officers, swooped on the farm last week Tuesday to carry out the eviction.

Esthel Ndebele, described in court as the wife of a late senior civil servant in the district, was also evicted, although she was not cited as a respondent in the court papers.

Nzima was cited as a third respondent in the matter, with the Ministry of State Security responsible for Land, Land Reform and Resettlement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Attorney General’s Office also added to the court application as respondents.

Nzima is a beneficiary of the controversial and chaotic land reform programme in which started in 2000. Twelve white farmers were killed as marauding war veterans and landless villagers marched onto their farms.

None of the respondents in the application turned up for a hearing on February 28, and the judge made an order based on their default and after lawyers for N & N Farming addressed the court on the merits of the application.

Nzima and his lawyer, Thabisa Sibanda, of James, Moyo-Majwabu and Nyoni deny being served with the notice of the hearing and plan to appeal against the eviction order.

But a major legal hurdle, which was the thrust of N & N Farming’s application, is a bilateral agreement between the governments of Zimbabwe and federal government of Germany.

Justice Mavangira declared that the N & N Farming owns the remainder of McGee Lucky Farm under Deed of Transfer No 2308/00 (Newlands).

"Newlands is subject to the full protection of the law and security in accordance with the provisions of Section 16 (9b) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe as read with the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Federal Republic of German concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection Investment that was entered into on 14 April 2000. It continues to subsist and is binding to the Government of Zimbabwe," reads the order.

Justice Mavangira further declared that Newlands has not been competently and validly acquired by the Government of Zimbabwe under the provisions of section 5 (1) of the Land Acquisition Act or with regards the provisions of section 16B of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The section concerns the expropriation of property and the judge adds that any purported acquisition of Newlands is null and void for want of compliance with "mandatory and peremptory prior requisite set out in the agreement between the two governments".

The judge further declared that the offer letter dated 3 March 2006 in favour of Nzima was incompetent, invalid and of no force or effect by reason of the subsistence of the Bilateral Protection and Investment Agreement in favour of the applicant.

The Harare judgement comes hard on the heels of a SADC Tribunal Court ruling that Zimbabwe's violent land reform exercise did discriminate against 78 white commercial farmers who had filed a group application challenging the seizure of their farms.

The President of the tribunal, Judge Lius Mondlane, ruled that Zimbabwe was in breach of the SADC treaty with regards to discrimination when it seized the farms.

Robert Mugabe has already rubbished the ruling, saying it was “an exercise in futility”.

At 7:05 PM , Blogger MrK said...

Now this kind of activity has usually been pinned on the War Veterans by the pro-rhodesian media. However, there are other accounts of rhodesian farmers plowing their own wheat field and shooting horses to keep anything of value out of the hands of Africans. This is an account of what happened on part the De Beers Debshan Ranch in Matabeleland South: (Subscription only)

The Herald

White farmers arrested for alleged vandalism

From Bulawayo Bureau

POLICE in Matabeleland South have arrested two white commercial farmers for allegedly vandalising irrigation equipment at their three farms which were designated for resettlement.

Police spokesman, Inspector Alfred Zvenyika said Mr Endersby Drammond who owned Lyndmill and Malungwane farms in Esigodini and Mr James Rawstone of Mpopoti section of Debshan Ranch near Filabusi would face charges under the recently-enacted Land Acquisition Amendment Act.

Mr Drammond allegedly removed irrigation equipment from his two farms while Mr Rawstone is said to have vandalised engine rooms at Mpopoti section of Debshan Ranch.

The two are expected to appear in court once police investigations have been completed.

Inspector Zvenyika said by tempering with irrigation equipment, the farmers had violated provisions of the Land Acquisition Amendment Act.

The Act prohibits a farmer from removing or tempering with any irrigation equipment once his farm has been designated.

The law also makes it an offence for an owner or occupier of the land to interfere with the process arising from effective occupation.

Those found guilty of violating provisions of the Act are liable to a fine of $20 000 or a jail term of two years or both. Mr Drammond is alleged to have removed six water pump filters from irrigation infrastructure at Lyndmill farm sometime in May.

Newly-resettled farmers at the farm reportedly called for a meeting at which they asked him to replace the filters. He allegedly complied a few days later.

Mr Drammond is alleged to have also removed six doors and a geyser from the homestead at Malungwane farm, one of his farms that has also been acquired for resettlement.

Mr Rawstone allegedly instructed his employees to remove roofing sheets from three pump engine rooms, at the Mpopoti section of the Debshan farm where 25 families have since been resettled.

The workers reportedly destroyed the fourth engine room which the community was planning to use as a tuckshop at the farm.

The farm is part of the 84 000-hectare Debshan ranch, which belongs to the Oppenheimer family.

"These two farmers are the first to be arrested in the province for violating the new law,'' said inspector Zvenyika.

There have been numerous cases of commercial farmers vandalising infrastructure at farms in protest against the designation of their farms.

The disgruntled commercial farmers who are after frustrating the Government's agrarian reform programme, have gone to the extent of poisoning water sources and even torched pastures and killed game.

The Government has warned that the law would descend heavily on farmers who are after sabotaging the land reform programme.


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