ZANU PF activists including war veterans have reportedly embarked on a renewed farm invasion spree in many parts of the country, disrupting operations at mostly the few remaining white-owned farms, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.
The fresh wave of invasions come after President Robert Mugabe told a Zanu PF supporters at Chipfundi Farm in Mhangura during the launch of the A1 (small scale commercial farm) permits that the remaining whites should not be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe.
Sources at the lands offices in Masvingo, Bulawayo and Mashonaland Central said since Mugabe’s utterances there has been increased interest in taking over farms run by the remaining white commercial farmers.
There are only between 100 and 150 white farmers left in Zimbabwe, according to CFU director Hendricks Olivier, down from 6 500 at Independence in 1980.
“We have received numerous calls from interested parties identifying farms that are still being run by white farmers,” one source from Masvingo said.
Commercial Farmers Union president Charles Taffs said they were receiving reports of fresh invasions on a daily basis.
“The invasions have not stopped and now they are even targeting other black farmers,” Taffs said, adding: “We are receiving reports everyday of such harassment.
“The statement made by the president was not helpful although we do not see it as policy.”
Taffs also said some opportunists are now taking advantage of the statement to grab farms owned by whites.
A week ago more than 100 Zanu PF supporters invaded Mazwi Game and Nature Reserve in St Peter’s on the western outskirts of Bulawayo allegedly with the blessing of the party’s provincial leadership.
Chaos is brewing in Masvingo amid reports war veterans are targeting farms owned by black farmers whom they accuse of fronting for white farmers. Violence broke out at Masvingo East farms where a farmer is reportedly battling for his life at Masvingo General Hospital after he was struck with an axe in the head by war veterans at the weekend.
Some of the Masvingo East farms that have since been invaded include Nidspruit, Potyo, Thankerton, Chigumedhe, Mudzikisi, Chipare, Pakai and Mukuta.
However in an interview with the Independent, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora said he was not aware of such invasions.
“I am currently out of the country and not aware of such activities,” Mombeshora said.