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.***

The farmer Mujuru evicted speaks out

The farmer Mujuru evicted speaks out

August 18, 2011 1:49 pm

This is the story of how Retired army General Solomon Mujuru came to occupy 
the farm that he died in, 60 km outside Harare in Beatrice. The farmer Guy 
Watson-Smith and his wife were forced out and left with a suitcase of 
clothes after Mujuru sold lorries, tractors, irrigation equipment and other 
movable property.

By Guy Watson-Smith

I was shocked to hear of Solomon Mujuru’s death and to see the photos all 
over the internet and which I have been sent (and picked up out here in the 
bush). Our house is destroyed, not that we expected to live in it again as 
we were violently evicted from our farm by the General in 2001.

The incidents were pretty well reported at the time including live 
interviews with Lise Doucet and others. We have fought a nearly-ten year 
battle in the High Court of Zimbabwe for payment for the moveable assets 
which we were forced to leave behind (with only an hour to leave).

Those assets included all of our breeding cattle (460 head), game (600 
animals), our tractors, vehicles, equipment, irrigation equipment, stocks of 
fertilizer and diesel, coal and so on. It was independently valued by 
Zimbabwe’s top valuers at US$1.7m in 2001. All the documentation is of 
course available and forms the basis of our civil suit against General 

The land itself is an entirely different issue and forms part of a wider 
action on the part of 4000 dispossessed farmers, against the government. 
This has also been valued along with 90% of the dispossessed farms, and is 
being pursued through the Commercial Farmers Union in Harare, and Agric 
Africa who are UK based.

If Solomon Mujuru’s death on my farm brings anything at all, I hope it 
is a renewed awareness that there are huge injustices that need addressing 
before Zimbabwe can feed itself (and help to feed the region) again, and 
recover from the last 10 years of mayhem.

The rule of law and property rights is at the heart of any future recovery 
in our country, and mine is just one of so many productive farms which have 
been similarly taken out of the economic life of the country.

With law and order and the return of property rights the turnaround for the 
average Zimbabwean could be so quick – everything is still there and 
basically waiting for conditions to change, with loyal productive 
Zimbabweans forced to sit on their hands waiting for the opportunity to go 
back to work.

On another level – one has to wonder whether the truth about Mujuru’s death 
will ever come out. Our house was a sprawling single storey building, roofed 
entirely with asbestos sheeting (which was common in the 50′s when it was 

Of course that makes it absolutely fire-proof, and the walls were brick and 
cement. All that could have burned was roofing timbers and ceilings, and to 
imagine the fire spreading quickly without help is hard to do.

Finally there were more doors and windows than holes in a colander. Our main 
bedroom alone had 3 doors out of it and 4 double windows. How do you get 
trapped inside that?


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