Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

CFU Calling 17 June 2010

cfu calling

cfu calling

 

17 JUNE 2010

 

EXECUTIVE NEWS

 

In Chipinge this week there was a different kind of euphoria and excitement to that of the Soccer World Cup. Perhaps one could almost say that soccer supporters were bored after they, like our wheat farmers, have been seriously let down by the lack of ZESA power supplies, which seem to be getting worse rather than better at this critical time of the need for constant electricity supplies.

 

The euphoria and excitement is the current “gold rush” of people in Chipinge fighting to unlawfully take over the macadamia crops. At least three of our well established farmers in the area have been violently evicted from their homes over last weekend. They have been prohibited from salvaging anything from their farms, which includes their macadamia crops which are currently being harvested. Instead it has been alleged that there are buyers from Kenya, China, Australia and Switzerland who are readily cashing in on our farmers’ stolen crops.

 

There has recently been a similar ongoing situation in the banana industry where seizers of established plantations have had ready local buyers quick to snap up the stolen produce in what some may consider highly suspicious circumstances. Although some of these properties were covered by international BIPPAs this was not even considered as a defence.

 

What is of most concern about the ongoing Chipinge looting and violent evictions is that the police are allegedly refusing to attend the scenes or even to record the reports or issue RRB numbers. They are alleging that they have recently been openly threatened by a visiting minister that should they assist any white farmer they would be arrested and jailed.

 

It is further alleged that the same visiting minister ordered that the protection orders granted to individual farmers in the High Courts are to be disregarded as they are allegedly considered to be nul and void.

 

Our advice to farmers facing these predicaments is to ensure that everything continues to be reported to the police where possible and to your Union. Farmers should also, where appropriate, to continue to seek protection through the courts and abide by the law.

 

The continuation of the violent evictions and looting of personal property and crops merely add more strong evidence to support our CFU case which is currently in the Supreme Court.

 

The Heads of Argument for our application for a moratorium on the evictions and prosecutions is coming together nicely and is currently being edited by our counsel in Harare so it should be ready for submission by early next week.

 

We responded to a request from the Prime Minister’s Office to submit reports on the current escalation of lawlessness on the farms to the Cabinet on Tuesday but at the time of writing we had no notification of any response.

 

We are however led to believe that the Prime Minister’s office is putting together the information in an effort to get the attention of the Commissioner General of Police the absurdities and manipulations in the upholding of the law by officers and employees within his police force.

 

At Head Office itself the sudden death occurred of one of our long-standing employees Mr Leon Chidewu, who was employed as a messenger. He was also on call almost 24/7 to keep us and our guests constantly supplied with tea or coffee. His smiling face will be sadly missed. We send our sincere condolences to all his family.

 

On the 1st of June 2010 a new Compensation Committee was announced by the Minister of Lands and Land Reform, Herbert Murerwa and a copy of the Gazette Notice, which includes the names of the appointed committee members, has been uploaded onto the website www.cfuzim.org under “The Law”.

 

Vice President Charles Taffs has been called by Government for a meeting on our compensation proposal in which they have showed some interest. These are preliminary discussions only but we will keep you fully informed should anything significant arise from these initial meetings.

 

ADVICE ON COMPANIES ACT

 

As more interest is developing on compensation we repeat the following advice which could affect farms which are owned in the names of companies:

 

“The land that many farmers own is often registered in the name of a company.  Some farm-owning companies never get involved in the farming business on the land and become neglected.  Even the farm-owning companies which do business may not have their Companies Office records up do date.

 

Beware of Section 187 of the Companies Act – make sure that your bookkeeper is up to speed with an amendment to this section promulgated in August 2006.

 

If the company records are not in order by 1st September 2007, the company can be struck off the Register.  Nobody will be there to own the land and it may revert to State Land.”

 

Please therefore ensure that your company papers are all in order and that your returns have been regularly submitted. If not please contact your bookkeeper or accountant to carry out the necessary procedures, particularly if the company is the registered owner of the farm which has been seized.

 

Another factor which is coming to light at moment is our awareness of the passing of many of our elderly members and particularly in whose names the title deeds of their farms is registered. Our members need to ensure that transfer of the ownership is adequately covered in the will as we don’t want their families to forfeit any possible compensation through inadvertent default of any kind. We will seek legal advice on this and will advise you accordingly.

 

Vice President Louis Fick wishes to once again remind South Africans to register with him and in particular to let him know, that should he be successful with his discussions over the payment of South African pensions, whether the pensioners would like to receive payments in Zimbabwe or be moved to homes for the elderly in South Africa and receive their payments there. Please contact Louise O’Conner at CFU or by email on louise@cfuzim.org

 

On a brighter side this week we note that Ben Freeth has been listed in the Queen’s Birthday List of Awards as being honoured with an MBE for his services to the beleaguered farming community in Zimbabwe. We offer our most sincere congratulations and thank him for his continued commitment and services to our community.

 

In tribute he has done an incredible amount of voluntary work behind the scenes in bringing to the international public’s attention of the oppression of the white farmers and farm workers in Zimbabwe, particularly through his film documentary “Mugabe and the White African”, which continues to be screened to interested audiences around the World and has consequently received international acclaim and attention of wide ranging audiences.

 

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS – AGRO AND HORTICULTURAL SUB SECTORS

 

As you are no doubt aware, the National Employment Council for the Agricultural Industry Secretariat and some Trade Unions Representatives are circulating “new wage schedules” for the Agro and Horticulture sub-sectors, which are supposedly to be implemented this month, June 2010.

 

The Agricultural Labour Bureau, which is an association of the various employers /interested group and players in the agricultural industry in Zimbabwe, met on Monday, June 14, 2010 at the Horticultural Promotions Council offices to discuss, among other things, the authenticity of these wage agreements.  It was established that the wage negotiators that met at the NEC office on June 4, 2010 to deliberate the wage increments for Agro and Horticulture sub-sectors were not bona fide stakeholders of the two sub-sectors and had not been mandated to represent the two sectors.

 

In view of the fact that the wage negotiations were carried out in a flawed manner, without due regard of sections 74, 75 and 77 of the Labour Act, the stakeholders resolved to legally challenge these imposed wage rates in the Labour court.

 

In the interim, members unanimously agreed to ignore the wage schedules that are being circulated and continue to pay the existing rates, thus a minimum of USD50, 00 until further notice. 

 

We strongly believe that wage negotiations should be done in a very systematic and transparent manner that is devoid from fraudulent misrepresentations.

 

NB – this does not apply to the General Agriculture sector.

 

FROM INDUSTRIAL AND LABOUR RELATIONS DESK – TONGAI MARODZA

NEC AGRICULTURE DUES

 

Members are hereby informed that the Minister of Labour has Gazetted NEC dues Statutory Instrument 101 of 2010 on the 4th June 2010. By promulgating a statutory Instrument the collection of NEC dues becomes lawful. With effect from the 1 February 2009 the Statutory Instrument was promulgated should be the effective date for all farmers to start paying dues to the NEC.

 

However we are not in agreement with the effective dated indicated by NEC in the Statutory Instrument and the CFU lawyer is researching if it is lawful to apply law in retrospect and farmers will be advised accordingly once a legal opinion is ready.

 

In the event that farmers are forced by NEC to pay the back payments on NEC dues then what it means is a general farm worker in A1 will suffer a deduction of US$17-00 from the US$44-00 minimum. We don’t believe GAPWUZ will support it because there will be an uprising on farms from workers.

 

AGRICULTURE RECOVERY AND COMPENSATION (ARAC)(from the desk of Pete Steyl)

 

For this week’s ARAC report please go to our website www.cfuzim.org and look under compensation.  It is too large to be inserted into the Calling as most of our members are unable to open large files. 

 

COMMODITY UPDATE

 

ZIMBABWE CROP PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION (from the desk of Richard Taylor)

 

Local as at 18 June 2010 US$

Commodity

GMB

Agrifoods

Intergrain

Staywell

Croplink

White Maize

265

240

200

210

250

Yellow Maize

265

240

180

210

200

Maize Bran

150

150

 

130

 

Soyabeans

280

370

350

345

345

Soyabean Meal

 

490

 

 

430

Wheat

400 (t.b.a.)

 

350

350

(imported)

375

365

(imported)

 

380

(imported)

Wheat Bran

 

120

 

130

 

Groundnuts

450

(unshelled)

 

825

(shelled)

650-750

(shelled)

650

(shelled)

South African Foreign Exchange (SAFEX) as at 18 June 2010

Commodity

Rand/Tonne

US$/Tonne

Import Parity

Rand/Tonne

Import Parity

US$/Tonne

White Maize

1053

137

1213

158

Yellow Maize

1101

143

1261

164

Wheat

2282

297

2442

318

Soyabeans

2520

328

2680

349

Sunflowers

3388

441

3548

461

International Gulf

Commodity

US$/Tonne

 

 

Import Parity

US$/Tonne

Wheat

175

 

 

325

Maize

160

 

 

310

Soyabeans

376

 

 

526

Source: South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS)

 

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DAIRY FARMERS (from the desk of Rob Van Vuuren)

 

A reminder that the Commodities Forum AGM 2010 meeting at Troutbeck, Nyanga is taking place from 05th to 07th July 2010.  A circular letter with details about this meeting has been sent out via e-mail a few times to the NADF group mailing list.  Should you not have received this, please e-mail livestock@cfuzim.org and Debbie will gladly forward this to you.

 

Please be advised that Troutbeck Hotel are now fully booked for this event. You will need to contact the other hotels in the area for accommodation should you still wish to attend.  Telephone numbers are as follows :

Montclair                       :           029 3001 / 2441-6

Rhodes Hotel                 :           0298 377/376

Inn on the Rupurara       :           029 3021

 

MASHONALAND A REGIONAL AGM MEETING 2010

Sadly, due to lack of attendance once again at the Mashonaland A meeting held at CFU on Wednesday 16th June 2010 at 10.00am, we are now planning to try to have a Mashonaland A Meeting at Troutbeck Hotel before the AGM. 

 

STABEX VACCINE PROGRAMME

We are currently negotiating with OBP to release our next order with payment to follow.  Our stocks are generally low hence the urgency of this next delivery from OBP and Pfizer SA.  OBP are hoping to be able to supply us with a consignment of Rift Valley Fever vaccine that has been on backorder for some time now.

 

CATTLE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION

 

WEEKLY CATTLE PRICES

 

GRADE

AVERAGES PER KG/LIVE WEIGHT PRICES

HARARE

GWERU

BULAWAYO

SUPER

 

COMMERCIAL

 

1.36

1.30

CHOICE

 

1.45

1.42

ECONOMY

 

1.24

1.20

COMMERCIAL ECONOMY

 

1.25

MANUFACTURING

 

0.99

1.10

BULLS

 

1.30

WEANER HEIFERS

 

2.21

1.80

BULLING HEIFERS

 

1.61

1.60

COW & CALF

 

1.27

WEANER STEERS

 

1.53

1.30

LONG WEANER HEIFERS

 

1.84

LONG WEANER STEERS

 

1.46

FEEDER STEERS

 

1.47

1.40

COMMERCIAL WEANER STEERS

 

COMMERCIAL WEANER HEIFERS

 

 

 

COMMENTS AND VIEWS

 

Please let us know your comments and views on items contained within this issue or any other issues of CFU Calling by sending an email to us on dir@cfuzim.orgDisclaimer: This email and files transmitted with it contain confidential and privileged information and are intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please — do not read, disseminate, distribute, copy or take action in reliance on this email and- delete it immediately and arrange for the deletion thereof on your server, and- notify the administrator immediately. Any unauthorised, use duplication or interception of this e-mail or any files transmitted with it is expressly and strictly prohibited. No representation, guarantee or undertaking (expressed or implied) is made or given- As to the confidentiality or security of the e-mail system’ or as to the accuracy of the information in this email and any files transmitted with it is virus-free. No responsibility or liability is accepted for: the proper, complete transmission of the information contained in this email or any files transmitted with it or any delay in its receipt; or rising from or as a result of the use of or reliance on the content of this email or any files transmitted with it. Any views expressed in this email or any files transmitted with it are not necessarily the views of the Commercial Farmers’ Union. Queries regarding this email or any files transmitted with it should be directed to dir@cfuzim.org. This disclaimer forms part of the content of this e-mail for purposes of section 11 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 2002 (Act No. 25 of 2002).

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