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.***

Serious violence hits Zim farming community

Serious violence hits Zim farming community

By Alex Bell
11 November 2011

A wave of serious violence has once again hit the country’s remaining 
community of commercial farmers, with at least six different incidents being 
reported in recent weeks.

One of the attacks has left a Guruve farmer hospitalised and in a very 
serious condition. The President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) 
Charles Taffs told SW Radio Africa that the farmer was seriously beaten in a 
robbery at his home. The farmer is now “in and out of coma and in a very 
serious state.”

Taffs explained that the level of violence is shocking, explaining how whole 
families have been beaten in their homes by men wielding pipes and even 
machetes. He said the attacks are being passed off as violent robberies, but 
he said: “I believe these are engineered to send us a message, because once 
again we are facing another election.”

He also explained how other farmers are being evicted countrywide, with farm 
invaders taking over the properties, livestock and produce, all in the name 
of more senior officials. Currently, a South African national who leases a 
Belgian owned tobacco farm near Mazowe, is fighting to get the Zim 
government to intervene, after he was evicted by land invaders this week. 
The farm, Taveydale, is one of the biggest tobacco producers left in the 
country. The South African farmer is also meant to be protected under a 
bilateral investment agreement between Zimbabwe and his country.

“What is happening on the land is blatant human rights abuse based on the 
selective application of the law against an ethnic group. It breaks every 
moral and ethical code that our government has ever signed up,” Taffs said.

Taffs was speaking after returning from a tour of farming districts, and he 
explained that the situation is worrying.

“It is shocking to me how little progress there is in terms of productive 
agriculture, short of tobacco. We are the least prepared we have ever been 
for a new farming season and we are heading towards a catastrophe,” Taffs 

He added: “There is not a hope in hell for Zimbabwe to turn a corner and for 
things to improve if nothing is done and this is allowed to keep happening.”


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