Archive for Family father

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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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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A brief update of the situation here from some reliable sources

Farm invasions as of this weekend have flared in our area with local prominent thugs acting on behalf of Mugabe using hired crowds to try and intimidate farmers and their workers into leaving their farms without the option of removal of property.

The local police officer in charge has said he cannot react to help the farmers as this is politically motivated and they have been instructed to not get involved.

A neighbour of mine has had a crowd on his front lawn since 4 am today; lead by the manager of the governments local parastatal the Grain Marketing Board (GMB), despite the fact that there is a pending court case regarding his claim to the farm.

These situations are terrifying for any family as your life is at the mercy of a mob that is normally intoxicated so as to maximise their uninhibited ranting and antics.

As I write this letter the family are barricaded in their home with their pets awaiting the decision of our provincial governor as to whether or not the police should intervene or to leave another innocent family to the mercy of Mugabe’s lawless thugs.

Reports of brutal intimidation in the rural areas are rife. This includes mutilation, amputation, gauging of eyes, burning of crops and houses and killing of livestock. According to the people giving me this information this is all in retaliation for the loss of the election and aimed at terrifying the opposition support into not voting at all, or voting for Robert Mugabe.

A mutual friend of ours was told that the army would be coming to talk to his labour force, as they were now conducting the Mugabe’s campaign for the election re-run. Basically the message from Mugabe’s camp is if they lose again they will kill.

The general population is amazingly resilient and just hoping for a peaceful conclusion that will bring about change for the better and not be hijacked once again, by the current, inept regime that does not have a mandate to rule.

As one Zimbabwean said to me “where in the world do you win your football match by one goal and still have a penalty shoot out.”

As Mr Mbeki has said “there is no crisis in Zimbabwe”.

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