Chipinge farm invasions

cattle_nightAt approximately 11.30am we return from church to receive the following report re happenings on Stilfontein Farm:

Approximately 314 head of stud Brahman cattle have been moved into the security fenced workshop yard area.

This includes 114 bulls (including top stud bulls), that have been herded in together with the female stock and young calves. The extreme concern is the presence of females on heat this will cause fights amongst the mature males, especially the older and more valuable stud bulls, and can cause severe injury to the female herself.

In this very small restricted area of about 3 hectares there is no drinking water for the animals.

There is also no grazing of any significance for this number of animals.

There are 2 very deep big cemented tanks sunk into the ground normally used to circulate/recycle coffee washing water. These are approximately three metres deep.

These tanks are uncovered and pose a great danger to the animals should they fall into them. There are also various implements and scrap metal which can injure the animals.

Of extreme concern is a macadamia and avocado nursery which is normally kept inside the workshop area this comprises of approximately 20 000 grafted macadamia seedlings in jumbo pots, as well as approximately 400 avocado seedlings, also in jumbo pots. A herd of cattle in the same confines can lead to irreparable damage to these seedlings, through eating (in the absence of any other food) as well as trampling. There are also numerous lengths of PVC irrigation piping, which are exposed to the same damage.

I immediately sent one of my employees, Philemon Maposa to Grassflats Police Station to make a report and ask for assistance in the above situation.

He returned and I was told that Grassflats Police Station could not make contact with their superiors in Chipinge.

I then telephoned the ZNSPCA in Harare and spoke to George, an SPCA inspector. George knows the situation on the ground as he was here a week ago to rescue the dogs in the dog unit and the parrots.

George telephoned back after lunch telling me he had spoken to Assistant Inspector Kandiado who was manning a roadblock at Chiriga, and that I should go there to pick up a detail to accompany one of us to Stilfontein farm. I did exactly that and was given Sgt. Mhuka to help us.

At the roadblock there was also a parked white Canter truck Reg. No. ABC 9812 loaded with maize.

I asked the police to assist me in checking to see if it was not our maize being stolen from Stilfontein. The driver of that truck accompanied me and Sgt Mhuka back to Luipaardsvlei Farm. From Luipaardsvlei, Philemon Maposa proceeded to Stilfontein farm with the truck driver and Sergeant Mhuka. They returned after 1 hour.

Sgt. Mhuka assured me that he had ordered the release of the cattle.

Sgt. Mhuka asked me if any asbestos or corrugated iron sheets had been stolen.

I stated that I could not say as we have been denied access, but enquired why he was asking. He advised that he had heard it being told that sheets had been moving off Stilfontein. I told him that there was normally a pile of asbestos next to the security fence and a pile of new galvanised iron sheets in the workshop.

I then ordered my supervisor, Fungai Mafake, to return Sgt. Mhuka and the other driver to the roadblock at Chiriga.

I then immediately sent Philemon Maposa back to Stilfontein to see what the position was with the cattle and whether Sgt. Mhukas orders had been carried out.

The cattle were still in the fenced area, and no attempt was being made to release them.

I then phoned Assist. Insp. Kandiado at the roadblock who told me she was going into town and would consult her superiors. She advised that I should phone her after 1 hours had elapsed.

In the mean time George ZNSPCA phoned to hear whether there had been any progress in freeing the cattle to water and grazing. I gave him an account of what had taken place to date.

At 20h00 hrs I phoned Asst. Insp. Kaniado, as per her orders. She immediately gave the phone to Dispol Jaboon, so that I could speak to him. Dispol Jaboon told me that this case had nothing to do with the police and that I should get hold of Lands Department or Veterinary, or go to the Civil Court.

Update 15 February

As at 11am, the situation remains unchanged. Our head stockman, Joel Marange has reported that the cattle are still closed up with no water. Our stockman have been advised by the Porusingazi thugs to tell us that Mr. Porusingazi is moving 200 head of his own cattle onto Stilfontein Farm from the Chisumbanje area, which is why our cattle should remain kraaled.

Chisumbanje area is a RED ZONE Foot and Mouth Disease area.

Joel Marange has already been to Grassflats Police Post to make the report re the planned movement of cattle and also to advise ZRP that the cattle are still being held in the confines of the fences. While at Grassflats Police, an employee of Porusingazi, Charles Jambaya, along with 3 other thugs who are also employed by E. Porusingazi, arrives with a Ford tractor belonging to this company and which he has no authority to use.

They report that the fence had been cut at the yard where they have closed in the cattle.

Grassflats Police advise that they will assist with the cattle at 2pm this afternoon.

In accordance with orders from DISPOL Jaboon, Fungai Mufake, our supervisor, is despatched to Veterinary Dept. and Lands Dept. with a letter asking for assistance regarding the release of the cattle.

In the absence of cell communications, an email is also forwarded to Veterinary Department, Harare, warning them of the possible movement of cattle from a red area in to the Chipinge area.

A hard copy of this letter is also forwarded to Dr Pikitayi Chinayiwa, of Chipinge Veterinary Department.

2pm: we have despatched a vehicle and driver to collect Grassflats Police details for the assistance offered this morning.

We have received a Skype message from George of SPCA Harare, that he has spoken to ZRP Officer Commanding Mutare: Phineas Madudu, re the assistance required to release the cattle.

Our supervisor has not returned from Lands/Veterinary Department, Chipinge yet.

Our three guards who were still patrolling our macadamia lands have been told that they are no longer allowed patrolling: one of them has reported this in person to us, and has also said that the cattle are still closed in.

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