Fri 24 Apr 2009
A gun battle erupted on Thursday at Chegutuâ€™s Stockdale Farm, which was invaded by senate president Edna Madzongwe, leading to the arrest of the farm owner Peter Etheredge
The chaos erupted after the Chegutu ZANU PF land committee led controversial former sports personality turned politician Temba Mliswa defied an order by the Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to stop the illegal farm invasions.
Themba Mliswa is now theÂ operations leader of a new Zimbabwean terrorist groupÂ operating from Robert Mugabe’s office and it commandeered by the Minister of State Security in the President’s office Dydimus Mutasa.
No-one was injured in the gun battle but Police confirmed the arrest of Etheredge.
Mliswa said the order by Mutambara was “ill advised and will go ahead with occupying the commercial farms has they had offer letters from the government”.
This follows a meeting of new farmers in Chegutu on Thursday.
DuringÂ a tour of the farms in Chegutu, Mutambara said the illegal farm evictions should stop immediately.
“There will be no holy cows. The axe will hit where it may and we will not tolerate any government official who is prolonging lawlessness in the country,” Mutambara said then while leading a government team in Chegutu.
Farmers in the area, 120 kilometres south west of
Fresh farm grabs have further tarnished the country’s image abroad as it desperately seeks foreign investment to kick start the economy after years of ruin, Mutambara told reporters.
“Our country is trying to attract investment, attract foreign aid, we can’t afford to be damaging business confidence in this country,” he said.
White farmers have reported a surge in violence despite a power-sharing deal between long-time President Mugabe and new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who formed a unity government in February.
Chegutu farmer Peter Etheredge told reporters that
The land reforms launched in 2000 aimed to resettle blacks on 4,000 white-owned commercial farms, but the process was marred by politically charged violence.
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