Police called in to stop Mash Central land invasions

Police in Mashonaland Central province have been called in to stop a spate of land invasions, which has left at least two properties under siege.

Minister of state for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland Central, Martin Dinha, told the Daily News newspaper that the Lands Minister would also be travelling to the area this week to resolve the issue.

“We had to crack the whip and call in the police. People cannot just come in and disrupt farming activities,” said Dinha.

Dinha added: “The minister (Douglas Mombeshora) is coming to clear the issue and we hope people will respect the law and stop these unnecessary invasions.”

About 450 farm workers on one of the properties, Tzoro Farm, have returned to work after ZANU PF politburo member George Rutanhira led the illegal seizure of the property three weeks ago. In that time, none of the farm workers were paid.

Rutanhira has insisted that the property is his by way of ‘allocation’. A farm workers union said Thursday that the politburo member has indicated he will return to the property, despite eight police officers being called into stop the invasion.

Meanwhile, a similar invasion of the Westheim Farm in Centenary is also understood to have been stopped by police. That property, which has Belgian investment, is meant to be protected by an international bilateral agreement signed between Zimbabwe and Belgium.

The land grab campaign since 2000 has rarely seen any police intervention, with the usually ZANU PF loyal force insisting they cannot intervene in ‘political matters’. The swift appearance of officers in Mashonaland Central this week has since raised many questions about ZANU PF’s sincerity in stopping a campaign it has spearheaded for over a decade. – SW Radio Africa News

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