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.***

Magistrate acquits Mugabe ‘insulter’

Magistrate acquits Mugabe ‘insulter’

By Pindai Dube
Saturday, 19 November 2011 15:25

BULAWAYO – Bulawayo magistrate,Victor Mpofu acquitted a 76-year-old white 
commercial farmer and miner, Mike Van Royen who was arrested in July this 
year  on charges of insulting President Robert Mugabe.

Van Royen who runs Cynthia Mine and Asher Estates in Matobo district in 
Matabeleland South province was arrested after a group of Zanu PF youths 
attempted to grab his properties.

Lennon and Rodney are claiming to be rightful owners of Asher Estates saying 
that the properties were left in their hands by their late parents.

Van Royen was charged under Section 33 of the Criminal Law (Codification and 
Reform) Act.

After hearing both submissions from Van Royen’s lawyer Nathan Tawanda 
Mashayamombe and state witnesses Lennon and Rodney, magistrate Mpofu 
acquitted Van Royen.

Van Royen has been running the mine and the farm for the past 36 years.

Allegations against Van Royen are that sometime in July he was phoned by 
Bulawayo Zanu PF secretary for security Joe Tshuma over the farm and mining 
business and he told him “to go and hang together with Mugabe.”

There are currently less than 200 white commercial farmers left out of at 
least 4 500 white commercial farmers who used to farm in Zimbabwe until the 
year 2000 when Zanu PF embarked on land grab.

The land grabs programmes which were led by militant war veterans in that 
year resulted in several white farmers losing their land and fleeing the 

Mugabe says the violent land grab exercise was meant to correct historical 

Farm equipment and materials were also grabbed by the new farmers as well as 
livestock and crops which were later harvested and sold by the land 

Government said it will compensate the improvements that were made on the 
farms by the white farmers, whose land was compulsorily acquired.

Mugabe has vowed that the land reform will not be reversed.

In July this year, a Sadc tribunal ruled in favour of two white commercial 
farmers, Louis Fick and Michael Campbell that they can stay on their farms 
and continue with their farming.

The Zimbabwe government, however, said it does not recognise the tribunal as 
the country and most Sadc members are yet to approve that the tribunal 
rulings be effective.


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