Farmer forced to auction off his cattle

A farmer from the Inyathi district of Matabeleland North was last week forced to auction off his livestock, in what is believed to be the latest attempt to force him off his farm.

Goff Carbutt from Oscardale farm was arrested last week and charged with illegally occupying so-called state land. This is despite him giving up a large portion of his property for resettlement yeas ago under the land reform programme. Carbutt and his family had been allowed to remain on a portion of the property, which was deemed as not being state land.

But regardless of legal papers allowing them to remain on the farm, the family was evicted from their home at gunpoint last Tuesday. Carbutt, who has recently had a kidney transplant, was taken to the police station in Inyathi where he had to sleep on the concrete floor of the police cells for two nights.

He was eventually released, but last week the drive to make him give up the remainder of his farm intensified with a forced auction of his livestock taking place in Bulawayo. SW Radio reported last Thursday that the auction was the latest tactic of intimidation being used against farmers from the Inyathi and Nyamandlovu districts. The radio said a top government minister and a former Supreme were behind the latest spate of arrests of farmers. In the past week there have been at least five arrests of commercial farmers from both districts.

For example police in Nymandlovu more than week ago arrested Cedor Park farm owner James Taylor while and his son Matthew was later arrested when he went to Nyamandlovu police station to assist his father. Both were kept behind bars over the weekend and were only released last Monday, despite James being in a fragile medical condition due to a recent stroke and diabetes. The Taylors have since been barred from entering their property.

According the radio report local communities in Inyathi have protested strongly about the intimidation of the farmers, who are viewed as an important part of the communities. Some community leaders last week delivered a petition to the local Ministry of Lands offices, expressing dismay at the land grabs.

Post published in: Politics

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