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Posted: 8/17/2001 11:56:29 AM EDT
For those people on my list who don't know me, my name is Joy Moolman, farmer's wife who lives in Karoi, which is a farming community in the north west of Zimbabwe. Last Monday, a large intimidating group of Africans( probably about 40 or so) gathered at the home of the Barcley's, they were armed with sticks and knobkerries. The farmer and his wife, who are an elderly couple, were in fear of their lives as these people are volatile, heady with the knowledge that whatever they do wrong will not be addressed, and they consider themselves in charge. The farmer pretended he was going to phone the district administrator to come and sort out any problems they thought they might have with the farmer, so they let him go inside his house. Well as you can well imagine, this poor man phoned the police instead. As per normal, the police said they did not have a spare vehicle to send, but could spare a constable on a bicycle to ride the 35 kilometres to get to the farm. Another farmer then phoned the police to say he would uplift a detail. The police responded by saying they would not ride in a civillian vehicle. Let me just add here that illegal pegging of farms has been taking place this last 2 months and I know for a fact that transport for the team that pegged our farm was provided every day for a week using a police land rover! Also if a sqatter has any problem with the farmer at all, the farmer is reported and picked up for jail immediately. Right, back to our story. Mr. Barcley got onto his radio network and radiod for assistance. With this business having gone on for the last 18 months, the only support we have is from each other. Two neighbours came round straight away to find the place barricaded. They let the rest of the neighbourhood know they were breaking through to try to get the couple out of immenent danger. they broke through and managed to get to the beseiged couple, they were attacked and beaten in their efforts. The rest of the neighbourhood responded and arrived on the farm, about another 9 or so farmers to help. These sqatters/cowards/criminals who can't face a man to man battle, had more than they bargained for with this group of farmers going in to the rescue. Please note that this group of farmers consisted mainly of 60-70 year old men, joined by a couple of their sons! The sqatters are mainly unemployed youth who are in their 20's. The police asked the farmers to come to the cop shop to make their statements about the incident, which being law abiding citizens, they did. They were arrested the minute they walked through the doors, about 14 farmers, I think. They were thrown in jail overnight. Hamish Barcley, the son, went to the cop shop with a Chinhoyi farmer the next day in enquire what was going to happen to the farmers.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 11:57:18 AM EDT
The two were arrested. The 72 year old Presbytarian minister went with blankets for the chaps and was thrown into jail. The number in jail is now 20. We are still in our winter season with temperature at night down to 0 c, the farmers had no warm clothing and prisons in this country are a joke. The one man, 72, suffered a heart attack and was allowed out. They had endless trouble in Chinhoyi with Whites assaulted in the streets with fists and knives. Our local Doc, Chris Lewis was kept busy. All traffic that had whites in had rocks thrown at them and everyone in the town were ready to evacuate. This road that passes through Chinhoyi leads to the Zambezi River, Kariba, Mana pools, Zambia, so has much traffic on it. The court case was unable to continue the one day as Zanu P.F. supporters threatened everyones lives, once again no police intervention. The case was remanded three times just to keep these farmers in prison over the long weekend we are having, aptly named heroes weekend. Houses of Whites in Chinhoyi have been looted, the tension everywhere is tangible. My husband, Theunis, is a buckshee farmer, successful, practical and a very clever man, We have 27 resettlers on our farm put on by this illegal resettling program. They are trying to displace our 60 families who work for us on the farm. We have no option but to stay here and try to get the situation to resolve itself, a very daunting exercise. Yesterday the chaps in Karoi were radioed from Doma, a farming community close to Chinhoyi, to help evacuate all the women and children off the farms. The area responded and many people were able to escape by road. Theunis, who is also a pilot, eventually flew in to the main troubled area. There was chaos and mayhem on the farms. Large groups of squatters were trashing and looting everyones farm in the district. The trouble had started two days previously and because police would not respond, it turned into a free for all. Theunis, in the plane, was used as an early warning system to tell which way the groups were going next, so the men left could evacuate their properties in enough time. In the air they watched the total desecration of a property. All the contents of houses were removed and placed in the garden, Blacks helped themselves to what they wanted and trashed the rest. Tractors and trailers were being used to cart off maize and fertilizer belonging to the owner. The farm labour were rounded up like sheep and had people hitting them with sticks. They chased some cattle around the paddock hoping to catch one to slaughter. This plan failed, so they put four bulls into the cattle race and cut their throats as they stood. The bodies were loaded onto the trailer for their party!!! This was happening all over the district. One of the Mannings family had their house attacked. Ant had to cut through his burglar bars at one end of the house to get his kids out, while he could hear them at the other end trying to cut their way in. There was an official fly past for Mugabe in Harare to celebrate for the holiday so other air traffic was grounded. Eventually when they could fly planes pilots arrived from Harare to uplift more people out. Theunis arrived home after a full day in Doma having flown for five hours. He and his co pilot were the lucky ones, they were able to sleep in their own beds last night.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 11:57:55 AM EDT
On the SABC news we heard that police were responding to quiten the area, three days too late. This morning, Sunday, at 7.30 he got another urgent request to go back into the area as all the strife was starting over. So much for the police force! We have been through a lot this year as farmers. Our lives have been threatened, our farming operations stopped, our homes taken away from us. For those who do not know me, I too have been locked in my own surround by war vets/squatters two Saturdays ago, but that's another story. Why do we stick it out you may ask as every day gets harder. We remain here because we put our faith in God and hope that one day the people can see we are all Zimbabweans and hope for the best for our country and all the people who live here. Best wishes to all Joy Moolman P.S To all the people who watched the programme called Focus on SABC2 the other night, we thought the programme was very balanced as it showed both sides of the story. Theunis was one of the pilots who flew them to Karoi. Mark Hellam who spoke about his 5 year old daughter being traumatised is our neighbour.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 12:04:24 PM EDT
If I thought for a moment they would get through, I would box a couple of rifles and ammo and ship them over. Doubt seriously they would make it however. If you think for a moment this sort of thing is not coming to this country, especially in the south and west, you are on drugs...
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 12:08:32 PM EDT
Where is the public outrage on this issue? The fucking media has shut this very important story down, probably due to P.C. concerns. We wouldn't want to piss of our U.N. buddies, now would we?
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 12:11:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2001 12:33:45 PM EDT by satcong]
By the way, I still call the country Rhodesia, but the name has changed to Zimbabwe. Forget racism, colonialism, land reform and all the other excuses trotted out by the head of Zimbabwe's tottering regime. This past week's violence and the arrest of 21 white farmers should finally put the lie to those excuses. The crisis in Zimbabwe is simply caused by autocratic government that is itself destroying the legal protection of its citizens in a desperate attempt to hold onto power. In 1980, when Zimbabwe became independent of Britain, the U.K. pledged to help finance the purchase of white-owned farms. After a decade and more than $44 million spent, the British government cut off the funds. Zimbabwean officials were forcing white farmers to sell -- a clear violation of the agreement that the U.K. government had struck with Zimbabwe. As for the farms that the Zimbabwean government did buy, most were simply looted and abandoned. Settling city dwellers with no agricultural experience on large commercial farms simply didn't translate into success. Most of the hapless urbanites were reduced to demolishing farm buildings and selling the bricks for food. In 1998, Britain agreed to another land reform scheme. The U.K. agreed to pay for the purchase of 100 farms. Mr. Mugabe responded by demanding funds for 1,500 farms -- nearly one-quarter of all white-owned farms. When the British government learned that the farms would remain government property, it balked. Thus began Mr. Mugabe's crusade for land seizures. His government has announced plans to seize 95% of all 4,000 white-owned farms, mostly without compensation. Remember, these farms are an economic pillar of the Zimbabwean economy and are heavily taxed. It makes little economic sense to destroy what is still working -- but sadly it does make political sense.
Link Posted: 8/17/2001 12:50:11 PM EDT
This is what happens when you play politics with race. Remember this when people talk about slavery reperations.
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