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 19 February 2010


19 FEBRUARY 2010




Last week we discussed the publishing of the controversial Statutory Instrument 21 of 2010, Indigenous and Economic Empowerment (General) Regulations. This week several meetings have been attended at which we were able to express our fears and opinions on the retrogressive response it would have on both local and international investment in this country.


The week has ended with some newspaper reports stating that the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has backed down to opposition against the regulations.


We will continue to monitor the situation closely and await the legal opinion from our senior legal advisors, and we will keep you advised accordingly, particularly as the March deadline for registration approaches fast.


On Monday another surprising decision was made in the courts, this time with regard to an application made by a group of Chipinge farmers for a Spoliation Order to allow them access to their homes following a positive decision the week before for a stay of the execution of their eviction. The alleged beneficiaries and a group of youth have been looting massive amounts of property from one farm homestead complex which is the headquarters of a huge farming operation.


The police refused to offer any assistance so the farmers had no alternative but to appeal to the courts.  After several delays in making a final ruling on this urgent chamber application the apparently straight forward application was dismissed. In the ruling itself, which is available on our website Chiriga Estate & Ors v Ministry of Lands & Ors HC 665/10, little is said about the merits of the application itself and is perceived by us as more of a personal attack against a highly respected legal practitioner who works tirelessly to defend the rights of countless farmers.


Although the matter is being appealed what is of huge concern is the barbarity which has occurred with an extremely valuable pedigree herd, (which is one of the only, and probably the most superior gene pool of Brahman blood surviving in Zimbabwe) being mixed together in a 3ha fenced off area without food or water. Once again the police have refused to cooperate. Within this security fenced area there were well over 20 000 macadamia and coffee seedlings being grown and have no doubt been destroyed by the 350 head of distressed cattle. After a few days the ZNSPCA became involved and we await an update report.


It was interesting to read in another newspaper that the majority of the beneficiaries have been quoted as saying that they had no need for land and that the exercise was merely one of greed to merely snatch the farm houses from the white commercial farmers. This story is also available on our website – “We had no need for land – Resettled Zimbabwe peasants confess.”


Another challenge has been brought before the Supreme Court in an appeal application brought by the Attorney-General himself against Justice Patel’s judgment in the Gramara case, which was an application for the registration in Zimbabwe law of the SADC Tribunal judgment on the Campbell & Ors Case. Although Justice Patel dismissed the application he did however recognise the SADC Tribunal itself, which is basically what AG Joseph Tomana is appealing against.


In a competent court his application would possibly have no merit and has even raised a bit of much-needed humour amongst our learned counsel who cannot wait to oppose the application in the Supreme Court.


As we have mentioned before the courts appear to be our sole defence at the moment and your Union is extremely busy with a number of cases at the moment, but which we unfortunately cannot release information of prematurely. To this end we once again appeal to all 4 500 previous members to come back into the fold as members again and thereby afford us the financial wherewithal to enable us to pay the costs of an increasing number of cases which we are undertaking at the moment.


While by far the majority of our previous membership are obviously no longer farming and fall into the lowest payment fee category, if all 4 500 previous members all come back on board we will have sufficient funds to afford the intended cases which will after all assist everybody, especially in their bid for adequate compensation.


Vice President Louis Fick is already in South Africa to assist with the preparation in the case next week in Pretoria and we hope to be able to report on a favourable outcome in next week’s bulletin. He once again puts forward an appeal for all South African citizens who own land in Zimbabwe to please contact him with your details – Please do not forget to send a brief rundown of your farm history together with your SA ID number etc to the embassy, with a copy to the Union, so that a file may be opened in your name at the SA Embassy.


We have received a copy of the Crawford von Abo’s most recent 48-page judgment. Unfortunately we have to retype it before loading it onto the website but should anyone wish to receive it in the current 1.8mb Adobe format please feel free to put your request through .


At Council  it was agreed to open up  our website (which is still under development),  hold monthly open farmers meetings on the second Tuesday of every month at 3pm, as well as the expanding of this weekly news letter. Furthermore discussions are far advanced at bringing back the Farmer magazine. We are doing our best but should you have any ideas to improve on this please do not hesitate to contact us.


Should members have anything they personally want to discuss, or require more in depth information they should feel free to come into the Union at any time. Our doors are always open.


In saying this, the transfer of information must be two-way. It is vital that we know everything that is happening on the ground out there on your farms. Whether it be good news or bad; jambanja or moving back; court cases under the Gazetted Land (Consequential provisions) Act or spoliation orders. We need to know absolutely everything, preferably as soon as it happens and with as much detail and names as possible in order to enable us to combat rumours etc.


We have also opened files, both hard and soft, which contain every detail about each farmer or property. We realise that this is extremely useful and beneficial to both  individual and your Union. We therefore request your constant attention to this and information may be sent through , or telephoned or delivered to your Union. The importance of this information gathering cannot be overemphasised. 


The Director recently attended a talk by motivational speaker Mr Robin Banks, from South Africa.  He spoke to Mr Banks and his team afterwards to see if he could arrange a talk for farmers and other interested parties in Zimbabwe.


To this end he was successful in convincing the team that there is a cause and a need for him to come back to talk to, particularly members of our community and their families, as well as many other Zimbabweans on both sides of the unnecessary divide.


He will therefore be speaking again at the Celebration centre at 6pm on Thursday 20th May 2010 and we encourage everyone to attend this great motivational talk by Mr Robin Banks. Although the cost of the tickets is US$20 each we are told that part of this money will be given to a charitable cause. It is essential that, certainly all members of our farming community, and the general public, definitely need to mark this date on their calendar and to make every effort to attend – it is a definite must do. His theme is “Who is in Control?”


Tickets are available at the Union.


Probably one of the more recent motivational events has been the Stanbic Bank Twenty20 series currently underway at the Harare Sports Club as well as being broadcast on the DSTV. It has been great encouragement (and tonic) watching our future generation battling it out on the pitch with such enthusiasm. The organisers of this event must truly be congratulated on this event which has been a great step forward in uniting our fractured nation.




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


Local as at 19 February 2010 US$



South African Foreign Exchange (SAFEX) as at 5 February 2010


International Gulf


 Source: South African Grain Information Service (SAGIS)




NADF is holding an Executive Committee Meeting on 24th February 2010.  Should you have any queries or issues, please approach your Regional Chairman and these can be discussed at the meeting.




The NADF has finalised agreements with NFB Logistics for the hire of a 3 tonne refrigerated vehicle to assist with the distribution of vaccines around the country and this vehicle was used to transport vaccines to Gweru and Bulawayo last week.  In addition the NADF has signed an agreement with Front Line Farming Fivet in Bulawayo and they have a limited vaccine stock stored in their cold rooms.  They are now an official distribution centre for vaccines in Matabeleland.  Negotiations are still in progress to establish distributors in Masvingo, Mutare and Mvurwi.







ACE Trade Report for 19 February 2010



 Today’s closing prices on SAFEX 17th February were as indicated in the table below:


The following prices are also made available to us courtesy of SAFEX. 17th February, 2010.


 Oanda Live Exchange Rates

MWK 19.38 = 1 ZAR – up

MWK 148.40= 1 US$ unchanged

ZAR 7.61 = I US$ – up



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