The Commercial Farmers Union is gravely concerned with the recent continued harassment of productive farmers and the failure of Zimbabwe Republic Police to render appropriate assistance in spite of High Court Orders for farmers to remain in occupation

Particular events reported to these offices include the following:

1.      Manicaland – a farmer’s wife was barricaded into her house in the early hours of Tuesday 8th June 2010 and subsequently given 4 hours to vacate the property. She is in possession of a High Court Order to remain in occupation.

2.      Manicaland – a farmer was removed from his property over the weekend, his equipment has been vandalized and the farm foreman was beaten unconscious last night. The farmer is in possession of a High Court Order to remain in occupation.

3.      Manicaland – a farmer in possession of a High Court Order to remain in occupation has been subjected to a long lock-down situation with alleged police protection for an orgy of looting of equipment, farm inputs and crops.

4.      Manicaland – The owners are in possession of a High Court Order for the settlers to be removed. This is a BIPPA farm with Malaysia. It is alleged that a prominent Minister has visited the property and informed all settlers to remain in occupation and that all High Court orders must be ignored.

5.      Mashonaland East – An elderly woman has been removed from her homestead on her daughter-in-law’s farm who has since been told that she is to vacate by Thursday this week. It has been proven that the beneficiary’s offer letter is not correct. The farmer is in possession of a High Court Order to remain in occupation.

The above incidents are not happening in isolation and that similar events have unfolded all over the country which are currently being investigated.

These events have been driven by statements allegedly emanating from a prominent politician who has instructed beneficiaries and officials to disregard Court Orders. Beneficiaries have been allowed to take the law into their own hands to evict farmers without due process. Both farmers and the office of the CFU have received no support from the relevant police stations in affected areas. This constitutes a blatant break down of law and order and the enforcement of High Court Orders and BIPPA agreements.

We are concerned that at a time that Zimbabwe wishes to re-engage with the international community and encourage investment, that these breaches of the rule of law will drive Zimbabwe into further isolation. This will further erode both local and foreign investor confidence and jeopardize economic recovery.

This is happening in Zimbabwe at a time when ALL eyes are focused on Southern Africa for the Soccer World Cup which is due to start this weekend – Friday 11th June 2010. Is this the kind of attention we wish to draw on ourselves at this time?

END

COMMERCIAL FARMERS’ UNION

09 June 2010

(Source: via email)