Zapu, farmers unite to resist farm invasions

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BULAWAYO — The revived Zapu party has joined hands with war veterans in Bubi-Mguza, Matabeleland North, to form resistance groups and block attempts by senior Zanu PF and army officials to evict the remaining white commercial farmers in that area.
This comes a fortnight after two white farmers in the area, Geoff Carbott and Glen James of Oscardale and Glen Jerry farms respectively were arrested for resisting eviction.
Carbott and James have since filed High Court applications to reclaim their farms.
Other remaining white commercial farmers were told to vacate their farms before July 1, a move that has riled war veterans there who have been living peacefully with the white commercial farmers following their resettlement at those farms in 2000.
The farms owned by the white farmers were subdivided during the land resettlement programme to allow the resettlement of landless blacks.
The war veterans and villagers who have been mobilised by Zapu to form resistance groups to obstruct the eviction of the white commercial farmers say that their support of the white farmers stems from the fact that they have assisted them immensely by sinking boreholes and building and equipping schools in the area.
The war veterans also said they feared they too might also be evicted the arm.
Methuseli Moyo, the Zapu spokesperson told NewsDay yesterday that Zapu was mobilising war veterans and villagers to fight off the new land invaders.
“Villagers in Nyamandlovu and Bubi-Mguza have been living peacefully with the white commercial farmers who have assisted them in a lot of ways, ” Moyo said.
“That is why they are forming resistance groups.
“The resistance groups have been formed to block the eviction of white commercial farmers because these people who want to evict the farmers are not from this region (Matabeleland).
“The resistance groups are basically saying go and invade lands in your regions and leave our region. If the farms are to be taken over, the people who should benefit or take over the farms should be from this region and not outsiders,” he added.
Stanley Ncube, a community leader in Bubi-Mguza said:
“As villagers, we are worried by the fact that people from outside the province were being resettled in the area.
“People from other provinces are getting our land and that is why we are saying that should come to an end. We should be benefiting from land,” he said.
Land invasions continue in the country despite having promised to put an end to the eviction of the white commercial farmers to kick-start the revival of the agricultural sector, which has been adversely affected by disturbances on farms.
According to the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) about 80 farms have been seized since last year with 152 out of the remaining 300 white commercial farmers facing imminent eviction.
Meanwhile, the CFU says it has noted that the latest invasions of farms were mainly targeted at farms in Manicaland and in Matabeleland North provinces.
CFU deputy president, Charles Taffs, said the farms now being targeted had High Court orders allowing the white commercial farmers to remain on the properties.
He however said the latest wave of invasion could have been caused by statements made by Didymus Mutasa last week nullifying High Court orders. void.