Safari operators engage lawyers over threats

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The evicted Esimnyangeni farm worker in Insiza North and a Safari operator who claim to have received threats, including a live bullet and messages on their mobile phones, have engaged to file papers to push police to investigate the matter.

Esimnyangeni security supervisor Rickson Kangwena, who was employed by Terraine Harvey, said they had on Tuesday engaged Kucaca Phulu to compel police to act on the threats.

Phulu confirmed: “I am working on the matter. I will call you when all is ready.”

Kangwena told NewsDay he and other workers were evicted from the farm on August 29 by suspected Zanu PF supporters who claimed to have acquired the farm through the land reform programme.

A letter, in NewsDay’s possession and signed by one J Zifunzi for district administrator Insiza District, reads: “Insiza District Lands Committee recommended five white farmers to remain in the district namely, Goddard James Ross, Johanna Hendrina Nolte, Buckle Peter, Nei Theunns Stephenus and Aron Feildman. The rest of the white farmers are to vacate their farms to make way for black farmers who have been recommended to take over.”

Kangwena said about five farm workers had lost their jobs as a result of the eviction while about 113 cattle belonging to his employer had to be moved to Somabula.

He said since then owner of the farm, Harvey, and him had received threats from an anonymous sender.

He said he was sent a live bullet on Monday morning at Shangani Mine where he sought residence after the eviction. A message was sent to advise him of the “gift” the anonymous sender left in a drum at a gate at Shangani Mine.

“When I checked I found a bullet in the drum. On Tuesday I received another message that said: ‘Next time will be discharged in your brains, watch out (sic)!’” said Kangwena.

Another safari operator who was together with Kangwena when he engaged the lawyers, Sean Grant, also claimed he had received threatening messages from the same number used to send messages to Kangwena.

“We have already taken the issue to the lawyers with the intention to engage the police. We are meeting the lawyers tomorrow on the way forward,” said Grant.

Officer Commanding Southern Region Law and Order Chief Superintendent Patrick Moyo said: “ I will have to find out. I have not yet been informed about the report. Maybe later after talking to the station I will be able to respond.”