In Chegutu, a small farming town south of Harare, Frank Trott was badly beaten on his Twyford farm. It is believed that the assailant was Gilbert Moyo, a notorious war veteran who is reported to have spearheaded farm invasions and evictions in the Chegutu district.
The armed gang then went to Mount Carmel farm, owned by Mike Campbell (75), whose family and workers have been subjected to repeated attacks and threats of eviction during the past six years.
Ben Freeth, Campbell’s son-in-law, received a warning phone from Mrs Campbell’s brother, Bruce, asking him to tell his parents to get out immediately.
Freeth’s vehicle was blocked before he reached the main house, which had been forcibly broken into by the mob. When Bruce arrived shortly afterwards, around 40 shots were fired at him, so he was forced to retreat.
According to reports, Mike Campbell, his wife Angela and Ben Feeth were badly assaulted in the house and then removed from the farm in one of the vehicles.
In the interim, Bruce drove to Freeth’s house and told Laura Freeth and her children to escape through the back fence while he followed the vehicles driven by the assailants.
The convoy, including Mike Campbell’s Prado, which had been stolen, together with a red pick-up truck and a combi, travelled to Stockdale farm.
The owners of Stockdale farm, the Ethridges, had been forcibly evicted by Moyo and others on June 17.
Bruce fired shots at the attackers’ vehicles but the fire was returned and he was unable to proceed.
It is believe that the group then proceeded from Stockdale Farm to the Bronkhorst’s property where looting took place.
An employee at Bronkhorst’s farm confirmed seeing the Campbells and Freeth badly beaten up. They were in the back of the red pickup.
The police at Chegutu have provided six armed personnel after receiving instructions from the Provincial Police Officer. They have attended on Stockdale Farm but have not managed to locate the Campbells and Freeth.
SADC Tribunal test case
Mike Campbell is the second applicant in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal farm test case.
Over the past six years he has been subjected to a relentless barrage of attacks but has refused to leave the land he purchased legally in 1999.
His farm workers – perceived to be Movement for Democratic Change supporters – have also been the terrorised and abused.
The Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Nathan Shamuyarira has been implicated in an attempt to take over Campbell’s farm.
Campbell first appealed against the seizure of his property to the Supreme Court in Harare but although the hearing took place in March 2007, nine months later judgement had still not been handed down.
As a last resort, he took his case to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia.
In December, the Tribunal barred the Mugabe government from evicting him pending a final ruling on his application.
The next Tribunal hearing on the case will be July 16. Campbell, together with 76 other white farmers, will be represented by South African Advocate Adrian De Bourbon.
These continuing events warrant the application before the SADC Tribunal to be set down urgently.
The possibility of death is now a real concern as the SADC Interveners and Campbell would appear to be singled out for punishment.
Trott is currently receiving medical treatment in Harare.
Zimbabwe Republic Police
Police Station Chegutu: Tel: +263 53 2209 / 2411
Police Station Chegutu: Tel: +263 53 2974 Member in Charge
Police Station Chegutu: Tel: +263 53 3473 DA
Criminal Investigation Dept +263 53 3699
Inspector Ganyani (MEC) Cell: +263 91 264 0537 or 11 562 759
Justice for Agriculture
Mr John Worsley-Worswick
Cell: +263 11 610 073
Cell: +263 912 326 965
Mugabe’s so-called land reform programme has in reality been a mechanism for rewarding and enriching loyal ruling Zanu PF party elite.
Beneficiaries of the most productive commercial farms across the country include senior army, air force and police officers, Zanu PF ministers and Mugabe cronies, Mr Mugabe, his wife Grace and nephew Leo Mugabe, a high profile cleric and judges.
After the March 29 poll, the army threatened to evict the country’s few remaining white farmers if a single vote was cast for Morgan Tsvangirai in the presidential run-off.
In the run-up to the March 29 elections and June 27 run-off poll, food was used extensively as a weapon, with desperately needed food aid being commandeered for Zanu PF supporters and denied to MDC members.
More than 5 million people will suffer food insecurity in the next nine months. This is a direct result of the destruction Zimbabwe’s internationally acclaimed commercial farming sector.
The figure of five million is a million more than the previous year, the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP) said in its crop assessment forecast released on June 18.
Independent experts believe the Zimbabwean population has shrunk from an estimated 12.5 million in 2000 to between seven and eight million people.
Mrs Glyn Hunter
Glyn Hunter International
Tel: +27 31 572 2668
Cell: +27 82 774 2284
E-mail: [email protected]