Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Nyazura farm looted by invaders

Nyazura farm looted by invaders

By Alex Bell
27 July 2011

A farming family that was evicted from their Nyazura property last week is 
now counting the cost of their loss, after farm invaders looted their home.

The Smit family from De Rust farm was forced to flee the property last week, 
after days of harassment and intimidation from a self-confessed CIO agent 
named Onisimas Makwengura and a gang of thugs.

The situation turned ugly last Friday after farm owner Koos Smit was 
arrested. SW Radio Africa was told that Makwengura gave police a false 
statement saying Smit had assaulted him. Smit was arrested and held at 
Nyazura police station on assault charges for most of Friday morning.

While he was being detained, Makwengura and his gang broke into the De Rust 
farmhouse, where Smit’s wife, Mary Anne and two sons, Michael and Adriaan, 
were taking shelter. The sons were forced to fire warning shots in an 
attempt to keep the mob away from them. But when police arrived at the 
property, after being alerted by a neighbour, they refused to arrest the 
mob. Instead they told the family to leave because they could not guarantee 
their safety.

Over the weekend, Makwengura’s men were seen carting furniture and other 
valuable items from the house. The family has only been allowed back onto 
the property this week, with a police escort, to pack up what remains of 
their belongings. The police, who previously refused to assist the family or 
arrest Makwengura and his thugs, have now indicated that they will lay 
charges of theft, if the family makes a list of everything stolen from them.

The Smits are the third family in Nyazura to be evicted from their 
properties in this fashion, with Makwengura said to be working for the 
so-called ‘beneficiaries’ of the property.

It’s understood that the ‘beneficiary’ of De Rust Farm is Marshall Nkono 
from Rusape, who recently took Koos Smit to civil court for refusing to 
vacate the property. The court instructed Nkono to wait until the High Court 
had made a decision as to whether the Smits should leave or not.

An irate Nkono told the Magistrate that he would take the law into his own 
hands and use his own means to remove Smit from the farm. Nkono was then 
cautioned in court and told to contain himself or face arrest for contempt. 
But despite these threats from the court, Nkono sought assistance from 
Makwengura, who has helped other ‘beneficiaries’ get rid of the owners of 
the farms.


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