Mugabe's nephew wanted me dead, says farmer

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe's nephew, Leo, allegedly ordered ruling ZANU PF youths to murder a black farmer in a wrangle over a former white-owned farm, according to court papers shown to ZimOnline.

The farmer, Nomhle Mliswa, claims Leo wanted her killed in order to pave way for his white farmer-friend Myles Hall to repossess a farm in Mashonaland West province that was seized from him by the government under its chaotic land re-distribution exercise.                  Mliswa claims she is the rightful owner of the Summerhill Farm after the government allocated the property to her and wants the High Court to bar Leo and Halls from interfering with operations at the farm.         “On 29th September respondent (Leo) addressed youths, inciting them to go and invade my plot at Summerhill Farm for the purposes of driving me out . . . they were told to kill me,” Mliswa said in papers filed with the court.                    She claimed that after failing to find her, the youths proceeded to the farm compound and attempted to incite workers to revolt and take over the farm. Mliswa said she has been constantly harassed and threatened by Leo and Hall and has not known peace since moving onto the farm.                              Mliswa said she reported the threat against her life as well as the frequent harassment to the police who have not acted at all, forcing her to seek protection from the courts.                 Leo was not immediately available for comment on the matter that is yet to be set down for hearing at the courts.                                 Leo is the son of Mugabe’s sister, Sabina. He is a legislator of ZANU PF and operates several businesses in addition to also running a farm seized from a white farmer.                                 The claims made by Mliswa against Leo only highlight the chaos, violence and thuggery that have characterised the government’s land reforms.                    On paper, the land reforms were to benefit poor black peasant farmers deprived of arable land by former colonial governments but most of the best farms seized from whites ended up in the hands of Mugabe’s officials, their relatives and friends. Land reform has led to hunger after Mugabe’s government failed to provide blacks resettled on former white farms with inputs and skills training to maintain production. An estimated four million Zimbabweans or about a third of the country’s 12 million population are in need of food aid, according to international relief agencies

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