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More farms invaded

Ray Matikinye

MORE farmers were this week ordered off their properties in the Glen Forest area north of Harare as the fresh wave of farm invasions intensifies.

rial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>In several cases the farm invaders are said to have claimed to be members of the Land Audit Committee.

Groups of people appeared at farms in the Glen Forest, Welston area, north of Harare, demanding that the owners hand over keys to various dwellings and leave immediately.

According to a Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) update, affected farmers contacted Mashonaland Central governor Ray Kaukonde, who initially gave instructions through Arex that the invasions should cease forthwith.

The invasions stopped for a short while, but resumed later, prompting affected farmers to make further appeals to the governor.

The CFU said two farmers had been ordered to leave their properties by the end of October in the Bindura district.

Only 15 of the original 40 farmers in the Headlands, Rusape and Nyazura areas of Makoni district remain after a cabinet minister in the area ordered that the rest must cease operations and vacate their farms.

Another farmer, a Mr Barnard, was ordered to leave his property by today.

Five farmers in the Chipinge district have been forced off their properties.

They were given only a few hours in which to pack up personal possessions, and they were not allowed to remove any of their farm equipment. One farmer was severely beaten and another assaulted.

The uncertainty among farmers following notices to vacate their properties has affected land preparations.

Currently, there has been very little land preparation for the coming summer due to the severe fuel shortage. Fertilisers and chemicals are also in short supply although there are promises that the situation will improve.

The invasions have erupted hard on the heels of a landmark judgement delivered recently by Justice Patel in the High Court in favour of Kenmast Farming (Pvt) Ltd nullifying offer letters issued to individuals for specific land or property before the confirmation of their acquisition by the Administrative Court or prior to the September 14 Constitutional Amendment.

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