Evicted farmer jailed for more than a week
By Alex Bell
17 February 2012
An elderly farmer who was evicted from his farm several years ago as part of
the land grab campaign, has spent more than a week behind bars as the battle
for his new home intensifies.
74 year old Peter Hingeston was forced off his Lowveld sugar cane farm in
the mid 2000s and ‘retired’ to a house and plot of land in Vumba. But it’s
believed that a top police official wants that property and for the last
four years Hingeston has been fighting to stay there.
The President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), Charles Taffs, told SW
Radio Africa on Friday that Hingeston was meant to appear in court last
Friday. But Hingeston, who suffers from high blood pressure and who Taffs
said “is not a well man,” missed his court date for medical reasons.
“He had a legitimate medical reason and excuse for not making that court
appearance. His lawyer said it would be fine, and in a normal situation is
would be,” Taffs explained.
But Hingeston was arrested on the same day he missed that court date and has
been held behind bars ever since.
A very angry Taffs explained that the police are delaying Hingeston’s bail
attempts, with excuses that the case details have been ‘mislaid’. The former
farmer will now remain behind bars until next week, after a bail hearing was
postponed on Friday.
“This is absolutely unacceptable! This has nothing to do with land reform.
This is just about greed. We are hearing that there is a police official
from Mutare who wants this house, and that is all that this is about,” Taffs
He added: “We have no one to turn to. No courts, no political party, no
police to help. No one. And it is completely unacceptable!” Taffs said.
Hingeston is expected to face a bail hearing next Tuesday.