Mutasa directive sparks chaos on farms-CFU


Presidential Affairs minister Didymus Mutasa’s recent directive urging villagers to defy a court order on farm occupations has sent shivers down the spines of the few remaining white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe who now fear for their safety.
The Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe (CFU), which represents the remaining handful of white farmers, said yesterday that Mutasa’s utterances had sparked another wave of disruptions on their farms. A total of 16 farms had by yesterday been attacked within a week, the CFU said in a statement. On Monday a defiant Mutasa said his actions were justified saying judgments passed by the courts were irrelevant, null and void because there was a law in Zimbabwe which prohibited land issues to be taken to court.
The CFU declined to mention the names of affected farmers saying each time they were identified their security was compromised and they often found themselves in deeper trouble. Mutasa who is also Zanu PF politburo secretary for administration was responding to questions over his weekend instruction to villagers occupying Makandi tea and coffee estate in Chipinge to disregard a court ruling ordering them to vacate the property.
“The court order should not have been given. In fact there is a law that says land issues cannot be referred to court,” Mutasa told NewsDay Monday.
A day later, early Tuesday morning, a farmer’s wife was barricaded in her house on her farm in Manicaland and given four hours to vacate the property by invaders. The CFU said yesterday that the woman had in her possession a High Court order to remain on the farm. Elsewhere in the same province and on the same day (Tuesday night), a farm foreman was beaten unconscious by invaders who had earlier chased the farm owner and vandalised farm equipment. According to the CFU, this farmer also had a High Court order to remain in occupation of the farm.
Also in Manicaland and around the same time, another white farmer with a High Court order was subjected to a long lock-down situation with alleged police protection for an orgy of looting of equipment, farm inputs and crops.
“In Mashonaland East, an elderly woman was removed from the homestead of her daughter-in-law’s farm. The farm owner was told that she was to vacate by Thursday this week (today).”
The union said the offer letter the invaders were brandishing was a fake while the evicted farmer had a valid High Court order securing her occupation of the property. Yesterday the CFU said white commercial farmers now felt very unsafe after Mutasa’s actions and subsequent comments.
Meanwhile, a Cabinet minister from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has urged the principals to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to urgently clip Mutasa’s wings accusing him of fanning lawlessness on farms.