US on BBC confirming ‘attacks are out of control’

“The US ambassador to Zimbabwe warned post-election violence is “spinning out of control”, as the government set a date for a second-round run-off.” Read the whole story here

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Reports from JAG

We got this message from Justice for Agriculture (JAG) Zimbabwe today:

Here are the links to the reports on political violence on the farms that JAG has produced in partnership with GAPWUZ (The General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe) and RAU (the Research and Advocacy Unit).

The first is a survey of 71 farmers and details some of their experiences over the last 8 years through verbatim extracts from interviews and documentation. It can be found at http://www.kubatana.net/docs/agric/jag_gapwuz_destruction_agric_080508.pdf

The second documents invasions and violence on the farms after the recent elections. It is entitled ‘Land, Retribution and Elections’ and can be found at
http://www.kubatana.net/docs/agric/jag_idasa_post_elec_viol_farms_080508.pdf

Please download these and read them – then forward them on to all Zimbabweans.

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8 more MDC supporters murdered

ZWNews reports:

Zimbabwe’s opposition said on Tuesday eight more of its members were murdered in the last three days to bring to 32 the total number killed in political violence since March. Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said the latest deaths were reported in Mashonaland Central and Midlands provinces and in Harare as political violence – that began after the opposition defeated President Robert Mugabe’s government in the March 29 polls – threatens to engulf the entire nation. Chamisa said in Gokwe area in Midlands province, a senior army official, who locals were able to identify only as Major Moyo, was leading a ruling Zanu PF youth gang that had unleashed terror and murder in the area over the past week. “Today, the MDC received two reports of deaths in Gokwe Nembudziya following a week of unprecedented violence in the area. The Zanu PF militia led by one Major Moyo from the Zimbabwe National Army is perpetrating the violence,” said Chamisa. The MDC spokesman said the Zanu PF militias last Sunday night murdered two members of the opposition party, Isaac Danda and another one identified only as Gomwe, as punishment for not supporting Mugabe.

Read the full story

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Real stories from inside Zimbabwe

Please help me spread the news about what is really happening in Zimbabwe at the moment.
The current censorship makes about as much sense as the whole election circus.

read more | digg story

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A meeting with the army

Post the chaos of the farmer beating we were all summoned to a meeting with the army we received a dressing down for our purported support for the opposition and their subsequent victory. We were told in no uncertain terms that we the remaining 200 white commercial farmers played a major role in training the MDC and financing their election campaign. We were told that we are over paying our labour. This we all do because the government gazetted wage of 2 US dollars per month is unrealistic. Apparently because we pay our labour a lot more than the gazetted amount as well as providing various foodstuffs this has been seen as an attempt at vote buying and providing excess money for alcohol which is what has lead to a violent campaign by our MDC supporting labour force and so on and so on.

We were also told that we voted for the MDC and Morgan and that if we wanted to live peacefully we should consider how we vote and who we support, when one of the farmers commented that most of us do not vote they replied that then we should tell our friends not to.

The army have removed the thugs from the seven farms that were invaded and have assured us that this will not happen again until after the presidential run off election. They have also said that the land grab( seven years on since it began) is not over (even though from the original 4200 white farmers there are only 200 left our forced removal still continues).
We were told that our tenure to a large extent relied on the outcome of the election and that if the election went in favour of the opposition they could not guarantee our safety or position. We are also told not approach the foreign media, saddcc, the EU, UN etc as they cannot help us here and it will not make things life easier for us.

It is so ridiculous that they place us in this position of power, being such a small largely reclusive group. How in Gods name could we truly influence such a large percentage of the population to vote for a new government and president? It becomes plain to see that the real objective is to get rid of as many whites as possible by insinuating we are the cause of the regimes demise however corrupt incompetent it may be.
I watch amazed and concerned the protest through the media of the crack down in Tibet by the Chinese government and yet there seems to be relatively little protest when the same Chinese government single handed keeps the genocidal regime of President Mugabe in power through financial and military support in return for limitless access to our countries resources.

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The story of Mr and Mrs Rogers

From their facebook page

Mr and Mrs Rogers of Chigwell Extension Farm in Chegutu were attacked and beaten by a group of 12 people in their own house on 6 May ’08.
This is their statement: 7th May, 2008.

On the day of the 6th May, 2008 at approximately 1300 hours I was visited by three men at our farm, Chigwell Extension Farm.

They told me that I had two minutes to vacate my property otherwise they will send the mob there and the house is not worth sacrificing my life for. Because we would lose our lives. They said they were like hungry lions.

My wife made a report to the Chegutu Police Station about this incident, naming the people involved. At that stage I asked them if they would react to any incident that my occur and they informed my wife that they would speak to the Assistant Inspector. My wife also saw him before making the report and informed him of the visit and he told her to go and make a report at the charge office.

At about 1700 hours on the same day a vehicle – a white Datsun 1800 pickup arrived at the gate with approximately 10-12 people. They demanded that I opened the gate because they wanted to talk to me. I refused and went into the house together with my wife. We locked ourselves into the house. They came to the house and wanted me to go outside to speak to them which I refused to do. They started smashing windows and the front door was smashed open. One of them pointed a single barrel shotgun inside the house at us – we were by then upstairs. He fired a shot directly at us which went just over my head and close to my wifes’ head. He obviously intended to kill us. After he fired the shot he went out and it went quiet for a while and then we heard three shots coming from the workers housing area. They returned with all the workers and fired another shot whilst outside.

I managed to get through to the Assistant Inspector and the Chegutu Police Station to ask for assistance before there were dead bodies in the house. He said that I must phone him back in half and hour. Throughout all of this my wife was on the phone to numerous friends who were at the Chegutu Police Station trying to get assistance from them with absolutely no result whatsoever. My wife and I also made many phone calls to the Member in Charge on his cell phone and he refused to answer.

By this time it was dark and the power went off so we were left completely in darkness and unable to identify our own employees.

They then used the workers as a shield so that they could all come inside the house and then were downstairs chanting and singing and making threats.

They sent one of the workers upstairs to demand the shotgun from me to take back to them. I refused and this employee stayed upstairs with us. They then grabbed the son of this employee who was downstairs and from what I could gather they threatened to either kill or injure him if he didn’t go back downstairs with the weapon. He went back downstairs without the weapon. After about five minutes they told all the singing workers to go upstairs using them as a shield once more. We tried to identify the workers one by one as they came up the stairs, as my wife was standing at the top of the stairs with a can of mace. After about 15 workers came through, she could not identify a person and used the mace and sprayed them. After this they ran back downstairs and out of the house.

This incensed the thugs who then proceeded to break down the back door and started a building a fire in the downstairs lounge directly below us. As we have a wooden floor upstairs this posed a great threat and we thought we would be burnt alive which is when I said that we would come out and asked if they would let us leave peacefully which they agreed to do. We asked the ring-leader to identify himself. We came downstairs and they demanded the shotgun from me which was loaded and off safety and I refused. They then insisted that I give it to them and I tried to start unloading it and they attacked me. They then grabbed my wife around the throat and she started screaming. While they were trying to take the shotgun from me three shots went off outside the house into the ground as it is a semi-automatic shotgun. They then took the shotgun from me and wrestled me to the ground and started beating me with what I assume was sticks, or pipes and kicking me with their boots. They dragged my wife outside and they were trying to strangle her. At this stage she managed to bite the hand of the man who was grabbing her round the throat. Whereupon he started to beat her. At one time there were at least four men beating and kicking her.

They then tied me up with rope and threw me into the back of their pickup. At this stage my wife was still being beaten. When they had finished beating her, one of them grabbed her by her feet and dragged her over to the vehicle. They then demanded that she stand up and get into the back of the truck which she was unable to do. One of them grabbed her by the hair, pulled her into a standing position and pushed her up against the back of the truck and told her to get in. She did climb in. They searched my wife and found the car-keys in her pocket and demanded she show them what vehicle the keys were for. They couldn’t find the keys to the other truck. They drove my vehicle onto the lawn, parked near the truck where I was tied up. The immobiliser for the vehicle went off. They demanded that my wife show them where the immobiliser switch was situated which she did do. One of them drove off with the vehicle which we never saw again. They still had all the employees on the lawn around a fire that had been lit by the front door and they were still forced to sing.

There were about four or five of them around the vehicle watching the two of us, all the time they were shouting verbal abuse and racist comments and threatening to kill either one or both of us and also stating the manner in which they should kill us. This must have gone on for almost an hour. They were burning my feet with cigarettes and then we saw vehicle lights shining towards us and then my wife was told to get out of the vehicle and was dragged towards the headlights of the vehicle that had arrived. When she got to the vehicle she saw there were four armed policeman from Kadoma Police Station who asked what had happened. She told them briefly what had happened and demanded that they fetch me immediately from the vehicle as she feared for my life. One of the thugs came and untied me and told me to get out of the vehicle and made me walk towards the headlights of the parked vehicle. I noticed that they were armed policeman. The incident was described in more detail to them and they accompanied us into the house to get some warm clothing. Once we were in the house we saw that the gun cabinet had been opened and ransacked and that my weapons were missing. I informed the police that the weapons were missing. They then took us out of the house and told us to get in their vehicle as we were going to Chegutu Police Station to make a report.

We got to Chegutu Police Station and they had to call some superior officer to take a statement and he only arrived as were were leaving to go to Harare to get urgent medical attention. No police personal of any authority seemed to show any interest in taking our statement.

We were attended to by medical staff at the Avenues Clinic where numerous x-rays and CT scans were taken.

My injuries are two cracked verterbrae in my lower back. Fractured cheekbone, fractured nose there was copious bleeding into my sinuses and extensive lacerations and deep-tissue bruising to my face and back and a bite to my right earlobe.

My wifes injuries are fractured cheekbones, fractures around her orbital socket round her eye, perforated eardrum, cracked ribs and extensive bruising to her face and back and throat.

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Moving off the farm

We moved off our farm today. We had been warned at 2 pm that Mugabe’s thugs were coming for my neighbour and me. We were not sure who was coming but assumed it would be the same group that had evicted our other neighbour the day before.

I decided to move off as I had been told by people who had had the same problem, that if the MUGABE thugs arrived, and there was no person to target, it defused the situation, and hopefully they would leave or worst case loot your home. At least your family and employees would remain physically unscathed, and we could deal with the material loss later, hopefully even have the opportunity to start again.

Our children arrived home from school, they where met by Granny, me and my 1 year old baby girl. We did our best to disguise our anxiety but they, as children do, knew something was wrong even though they bravely said nothing and wolfed down their lunch.

We told them we had to go and stay with their cousins for the night and we needed to be quick as they were waiting to play, all the time knowing that the Thugs ETA was nearing. We packed a night bag, personal documents and a few valuables.

My oldest girl by this time knew what was going and said to her 5 year old sister they had better take their dolls – “the war vets are coming”.

So with a bit of prompting from their father they packed up ‘Sally and Isabel’ like young girls would out there in the normal world, jumped in the Ute with Granny and off they went.

I stayed behind to lock up, do the final checks and took a moment to look around our home, seeing as it was maybe for the last time. I could not believe this was happening, given all the reassurances from Mr Mbeki that there was “no crisis in Zimbabwe” and our government’s claim that nothing is wrong. This whilst their agents still try to intimidate a minority population of 10,000 people, insisting we are trying to- and capable of overthrowing this juggernaut of a regime. Surely this must rather be pure irrational hatred.

As always I hoped for the best, gave the children’s two little dogs a pat, made haste to my Ute as it was nearly 2pm by now, and sped off to be with my family.

I spent the afternoon with my brother in law and we left for his home at the end of the day. At 5:30 pm I received a call informing me that another couple were besieged on their farm. I was not to surprised, as this had been the norm for the last couple of days and I assumed it would end with them being evicted, but managing to leave physically unscathed to deal with their total loss and mental trauma over time as many before them – a slightly cold response to a their plight but the facts as they are.

We arrived home, had a beer but said very little as people under this kind of pressure normally do. Another drink and we relaxed and enjoyed some fun time with all our children and their cousins.

I then received another call to say the couple mentioned earlier were still besieged and shots had been fired with the police not responding even though fellow farmers were at the police station explaining the situation and pleading for a reaction – even offering to transport the police to the scene as no transport was available.

I ended the call and phoned a friend of mine who had been assured that afternoon by the member in charge that nothing like this would be allowed to happen. He promptly called the said member and told him what was going on, the MIC retorted that it was all under control he was on his way to the scene and a detail had been detached from the neighbouring town. With this information I was relieved and sat down for dinner.

Moments later we received a call, the situation had deteriorated further and the MUGABE thugs were threatening to burn down the house with the couple inside if they did not come out and leave.

At this point we had no option but to go and try assist in whatever way we could. We left our very anxious wives and departed for the scene of violence armed with a camera and a double dose of adrenaline, knowing that we could not be armed in any other way as the situation would brand us the antagonist if we got involved in a physical confrontation.

When we arrived at the turn off to the farm there were already several other vehicles there, none belonging to the police, just other concerned farmers waiting and hoping the outcome would not be fatal. Just then a vehicle emerged from the gravel road carrying the freed couple we saw immediately they had been severely beaten but still alive.

We were told that before we had arrived a civilian from the neighbouring town had heard of the incident and managed to persuade four police reservist to accompany him to the scene. This single act of community by a single man and four brave reservists was the weight that tipped the scales in favour of life, along with all the other selfless men who left their own families at home in fear, not knowing what the outcome would be.

The evicted farmers received multiple fractured vertebra, ribs and cheekbones as well as morose bruising, but thank God, they are still alive.
We returned home shaken and disturbed hugged our wives and had a thankful peek at our sleeping children, before going to bed for a rather restless night’s sleep.

The police told us the next day that ‘all was under control’ and they had visited the crime scene. It is however a mystery to us as to why the perpetrators of this vicious crime are still occupying the house of the people they violently removed, and have yet to be arrested.

Let see what the politicians of the world especially Mr Mbeki and the African bystanders have to say next.

I have been told our farm was visited in the early hours of the morning but the thugs left again. We will see what happens tonight.

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