Chegutu farmer denies verbal abuse of PMs niece

aricana_chihomboriThe Cremer family has categorically denied allegations that they used racially abusive words against the family of the woman attempting to take their farm. On Wednesday Dr Arikana Chihombori, who said she is Prime Minister Tsvangirais niece, said her sister and a lands officer were extremely abused by the Cremer family when they went to the farm wit

She said the farmer and his son in law set a dog on her sister and called her a derogatory. But on Friday the Cremer family spoke out for the first time since the accusations were made and said the allegations are totally false. One of the co-accused Dirk Visagie, the son-in-law, told SW Radio Africa: We find it very disappointing that a woman of Dr Chihomboris standing resorts to blatant lies in order to divert attention from her actions. Accusations of the K word are the oldest diversionary tactics in Africa.

He said in November last year Dr Chihomboris sister, Mrs. Kanyanda, arrived at the farm with the Chegutu lands officer, with an offer letter dated 27 August 2007, to claim the remaining 60ha of farm. 700 ha had been taken for resettlement several years back.
Visagie said: We explained to her that we should be evicted through due process by a court of law before she can take possession of our business and our homes. They conferred and left. The Cremers said they were legally allowed to continue farming on their land.

But according to the Cremers, Mrs. Kanyanda returned to the farm in December and was seen planting maize on their tomato land. The Cremers said they told her that they were entitled to farm on their land and that she was breaking the law. They reported the matter to the police.

They didnt hear from Dr. Chihomboris representative again until April this year, when four youths arrived on the farm and set up camp. They youths said they were taking over the farm and business on behalf of the US based medical doctor. They left after three days complaining that she was not paying them, said Visagie.

A Deputy Sheriff returned the same month with a court order evicting the Cremers from their property, with a second offer letter attached dated 15 December 2008.
The Cremers appeared in court and Mrs. Kanyanda is said to have asked for the case to be postponed as she had not come with a legal representative. The case was postponed to June 2nd.

Visagie said on 22nd May the Chegutu Lands Officer returned to the farm but this time to introduce Dr Chihombori herself, to give her a tour of the farm. We said we had nothing to say as we were due to appear in court in days.
They said anyone could speak to their farm employees who could confirm that they never used the abuse words they stand accused of. Visagie said; We consider her accusations libelous.

Chihombori said she had applied for land and was allocated an A1 farm, which she turned down, preferring instead to have the 60ha of the De Rus Farm, owned by the Cremer family. Dr Chihombori said she would be suspending her interest in the farm now, but only for the time being.

The Cremers say they have been making a significant contribution to the development of Zimbabwe and uplifting the standard of living in the community. Dr Chihombori justifies herself by referring to historical imbalance but the farm in question was purchased and built up from a cattle trough to its present state.

They say their remaining 60 ha is protected by an investment licence and managed by six family members, all graduates with degrees and diplomas.

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