Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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CFU boss blasts dictatorship

CFU boss blasts dictatorship

Outgoing Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) president, Deon Theron, has accused 
the Mugabe dictatorship of robbing white farmers of their livelihoods, but 
said the few remaining growers would continue to fight for their rights.
by Vusimusi Bhebhe

Theron, who stepped down at the CFU annual congress on Tuesday, said in a 
farewell message that life had not been easy for white farmers evicted from 
their properties and those few still remaining on the land.

“We have all suffered under a dictatorship that not only robbed us of our 
legitimately owned possessions, but ruined our lives as our homes and source 
of income was also taken from us,” he said.

There are only 300 white commercial farmers actively engaged in farming in 
Zimbabwe, down from about 4 500 at the start of President Robert Mugabe’s 
controversial land reform programme in 2000.

Zanu (PF) supporters, so-called war veterans and members of the army and 
police have stepped up farm invasions since the formation of a coalition 
government by Mugabe and former opposition leader – now Prime Minister – 
Morgan Tsvangirai in February 2009.

Scores of white farmers have so far been convicted by the courts for 
refusing to vacate their properties which have been illegally occupied by 
Zanu (PF) supporters.

Zimbabwe’s courts are dominated by Zanu (PF) judges who are often 
beneficiaries of land-grabs themselves while the few judges who rule in 
favour of white claimants end up losing their jobs.

Theron, however, said that although it was always going to be difficult to 
stop all this happening, he was “extremely proud that we never became cry 
babies but still continue to fight against overwhelming odds for our rights 
on a daily basis”.

“Even though we allowed ourselves to become divided at times, overall we are 
still united in our struggle for justice,” the CFU boss said.


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