Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Anger as Zim land invader seeks Canadian residency

Anger as Zim land invader seeks Canadian residency

By Alex Bell
20 August 2012

There has been an angry reaction to news that a Zimbabwean land invader who 
has successfully led the prosecution of a white farmer in Chegutu is now 
applying for permanent residency in Canada.

ZANU PF official Timothy Mudavanhu is believed to have already filed his 
application. His daughter and her family are Canadian residents.

Since 2001 Mudavanhu has spearheaded an intensive campaign to evict the 
South African born Dirk Visagie from his Wantage farm in Chegutu. This is 
despite being given a different piece of land as part of the land grab 
campaign. The Visagie’s meanwhile had bought the property from a government 
parastatal and received a ‘Certificate of no interest’ from the Ministry of 

But Mudavanhu insisted the Visagie property was the one he wanted and he 
soon initiated a campaign of harassment and intimidation that included 
moving hired thugs onto the property, breaking into the Visagie family home 
and lighting raging veld fires. The family has also faced off physical 
violence, often with no assistance from the police, who repeatedly insisted 
the matter was a ‘political’ one.

In January 2011 Visagie was criminally charged for a second time in four 
years for illegally occupying State land “without authority”. This has now 
resulted in a judgement by a Chegutu magistrate who passed a guilty sentence 
against Visagie last week.

John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture (JAG) told SW Radio 
Africa on Monday that the case is “a further indication of the breakdown of 
the rule of law in Zimbabwe.”

“This is again the total disregard of international protocols, of 
international laws,” Worsley-Worswick said, referring to the fact that 
Visagie is meant to be protected by a bilateral investment agreement (BIPPA) 
between South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Visagie meanwhile was also meant to be protected by a landmark ruling in the 
regional human rights Tribunal in 2008. The SADC court ruled that the land 
grab campaign was unlawful and ordered the then ZANU PF government to 
protect the remaining farmers.

This never happened and instead the court was suspended by SADC leaders 
almost two years ago, in what was widely regarded as a clear sign of loyalty 
to Robert Mugabe. The court looks set to never again possess the same human 
rights mandate, after a weekend Summit of SADC leaders made steps to hobble 
to court’s work.

Worsley-Worswick meanwhile called on the Canadian authorities to issue a 
strong statement against Mudavanhu’s attempts to get a permit to remain in 
that country.

“We are absolutely shocked to hear he is trying to get into Canada and we 
hope the authorities have a strong statement about this,” Worsley-Worswick 


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