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.***

Zanu man defends farmer

Zanu man defends farmer

VLADIMIR MZACA | 16 October, 2011 02:45

Midlands Province governor Jason Machaya has warned land invaders against 
targeting the farm of Derek Shaw, one of Zimbabwe’s few remaining dairy 

The governor also slammed the latest wave of farm invasions, saying: “The 
time for invasions is over”.

This past week more than 200 illegal settlers and their families had moved 
onto Shaw’s diary farm, Wildebeest, occupying his last 200 hectares of land. 
The other part of his farm was given to local settlers between 2002 and 

Machaya’s warning comes at a time when Zimbabwe is battling to improve 
output volumes of milk. Industry experts blame the low level of milk 
production on the chaotic land reform at the turn of the century, as well as 
the government’s failure to honour property rights, resulting in low 
investor confidence.

Most of the milk in Zimbabwe is imported from South Africa. Even Nestlé 
Zimbabwe, one of the biggest milk buyers, is importing milk from South 
Africa because local producers are failing to meet its demands.

Machaya said Shaw was one of the “strategic farmers” who had entered into an 
agreement with the government. It was decided that Shaw should keep his 
remaining land.

“Mr Shaw should not be disturbed. This is a government position. White 
commercial farmers like him are part of the country’s move towards improving 
dairy farming,” he said.

The governor spoke against the latest wave of invasions, saying “things 
should be done through the proper channels” to follow the laws of the 

“Anyone who occupies land in Zimbabwe has to do this by following the laws 
of the country,” he said.

The Midlands Province has seen a number of farm invasions in the past 
decade, including the farm of Colin Cloete, a one-time president of the 
Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe from Chegutu, whose tobacco farm was 
earmarked. He lost a final supreme court appeal to keep his only remaining 
property this year.

One of the country’s most honoured cattle breeders, Philip Hapelt, lost his 
farm to Zanu-PF politician Jabulani Mangena. Hapelt, his family and his 
employees were subjected to violence before the courts declared him a 
persona non grata.

And Ben Freeth’s farm was taken by Zanu-PF stalwart Nathan Shamuyarira. 
Freeth’s father-in-law, Mike Campbell, took the matter to the SADC Tribunal 
and won his case. However, the government declared the ruling invalid, 
saying the tribunal did not have jurisdiction in Zimbabwe.

According to a WikiLeaks cable in 2003 about 300 commercial farmers were 
engaged in legal battles with the government to keep their land, while 4000 
to 4500 white farmers had already been evicted.

To date the government has ignored a legally binding ruling by the SADC 
tribunal in 2008, following a petition by 77 commercial farmers who argued 
that the land reform programme was conducted along racial lines.


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