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.***

Farm invasions continue across Zimbabwe

Farm invasions continue across Zimbabwe

By Alex Bell
18 August 2011

The remaining white commercial farmers across the country are facing 
intensified threats by mobs of land invaders, as the lawless invasions of 
farms continue.

Last week Banket farmer Roy Crawford was reportedly abducted from his farm 
and tied up with barbed wire, apparently for “failing to chant election 
slogans supporting (Robert) Mugabe.” Crawford was eventually released after 
the police arrived, but his farm was sealed off by a gang.

And then, over the weekend, a Nyazura couple was forced to leave their home 
after a siege by a violent mob. The group used stones as missiles to try to 
break into the property, injuring farmer Dolf du Toit. He and his wife 
eventually fled with a police escort and their home has been completely 

Karoi farmer Mike Bishop, who has also been forced off his farm, has 
explained how his workers and their families were beaten when they tried to 
fend off the land invaders. Meanwhile in Nyazura, more than 2000 workers and 
their families have been left destitute since March because of the seizure 
of four farms in the district. Workers in Mashonaland are at the same time 
reportedly being forced to attend all night ‘re-education’ camps.

Charles Taffs, the President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), told SW 
Radio Africa on Thursday that the campaign against the farmers is happening 
on two fronts. He explained that about 170 farmers are fighting long running 
court battles trying to secure their legal rights to their properties. But 
at the same time, lawless gangs have been taking over farms and evicting 
farmers, “which is totally unacceptable and unlawful.”

Taffs explained that this ongoing devastation of the farming community is 
just one part of a larger problem, explaining that the country is now almost 
wholly dependent on imported crops.

“We have to import one million tons of maize between now and the next 
harvest, which is $200 million in import duty. We also have to import about 
400,000 tons of wheat, with is another $200 million in import duty,” Taffs 
explained, adding: “We now somehow have to find close to half a billion 
dollars, just to get food into Zimbabwe.”

He said that the ongoing farm invasions have “further compounded Zimbabwe’s 
bad image,” and that “amongst all of this, it is now near impossible to get 
credit. Lines of credit are being slammed shut over these reports.”

“The farmers meanwhile are fighting a losing battle because on one hand they 
are running out of appeals and running out of law, but on the other hand 
gangs are summarily evicting farmers and taking the law into their own 
hands,” Taffs said.


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