Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Nyazura farmers under siege by farm invaders

Nyazura farmers under siege by farm invaders

By Alex Bell
20 July 2011

Commercial farmers in Nyazura are living in fear, after a spate of farm 
invasions led by a self confessed CIO agent, who is said to be working for 
top ZANU PF officials.

Farmer Koos Smit, his wife Mary Anne and son Michael, were on Wednesday 
virtually trapped inside their house on De Rust farm, after farm invaders 
tried to evict them on Tuesday. The family refused, and on Wednesday a mob 
of thugs turned violent, vandalising property and trapping them inside their 

A source told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that the mob has been hired by an 
individual called Onisious Makwengura who has been leading invasions on 
Nyazura farms since March. The De Rust farm is the fourth property that 
Makwengura has invaded since then, in the name of ZANU PF officials.

In March he led the successful eviction of the Grobler family, before 
turning his attention three days later to evicting farmer Tivi Landos. Last 
week Makwengura then tried to evict Landos’ elderly father, who managed to 
negotiate his ‘voluntary’ move off the farm. The 80 year old farmer, rather 
than fight his unlawful eviction, agreed to leave his farm within 30 days.

Makwengura is said to be working for ZANU PF ‘beneficiaries’ of Robert 
Mugabe’s destructive land grab campaign, and follows the same modus operandi 
for every eviction. In exchange for items like tractors and other equipment, 
Makwengura hires a gang of youths to help intimidate farmers, until they are 
forced to leave.

SW Radio Africa’s source said the gang gives the farmers three hours to 
leave, threatening violence if they do not. When the farmers try and 
approach the police, Makwengura gives false statements to police officials 
about the farmers, usually leading to the farmers’ arrest.

“So while the farmer is behind bars, Makwengura and his thugs move in and 
take what they can from the property,” the source said.

The Smit family from De Rust farm recently won a hard fought for court 
order, meant to protect them on their farm. Makwengura meanwhile insists he 
is well connected with top officials in the lands ministry, CIO and police, 
and farmers are said to be desperately afraid of what could happen to them.


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