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Home | ZimCrisis#104 -- CFU Statement, July 18th

Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 15:24:26 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#104 -- CFU Statement, July 18th

The President of the CFU, Mr. Tim Henwood, has issued the following statement:

FOLLOWING last Saturday's statement from Vice President Msika, the Commercial Farmers Union believed that a way had been found to take the land issue forward. We were encouraged by the vice president's statement that illegal invasion of farms by war veterans and their supporters would be brought to an end.

Sadly this has not been the case. Trouble in the Glendale Farmers' Association area, which has been simmering for some time, was brought to a head when the Farmers' Association chairman and his family were forced to leave their farm by a group of hostile invaders.

The invaders, who occupied the homestead yesterday evening, remain camped on the front lawn. Last night the CFU informed the police that the situation was untenable. At 12.40 pm today the police arrived at the farm. They left at 2.30 pm without taking any notable action.

Because of this, the Farmers Association have taken the decision to close down, believing that it is no longer possible to guarantee the safety of farmers or their workers. All farms in the area have complied with this decision.

There are many Farmers' Association areas in Zimbabwe where the threat to life by war veterans remains intense -- or is escalating. Because of this extremely dangerous situation, the CFU is not in a position to guarantee the safety of its members or farm workers. The lack of proper police protection and intervention, coupled with continuing invasions and threats, means that there is a strong possibility that other farming areas may take similar measures to protect lives.

The Commercial Farmers Union believes Farmers' Associations should put the protection of lives and property first. If invaders continue to ignore the direction issued by government, the CFU believes that, faced with potential violence, farmers should not risk their lives and the lives of their workers by operating in situations that escalate confrontation. Therefore, where safety demands, Farmers' Associations have been told to consider this option and, if necessary, seek advice from the CFU's head office.

This decision should be based on an area by area basis and made only when there is a threat to the lives and safety of farmers and workers.

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Brief list of helpful sites on the issue:
- Zimbabwe Crisis mailing list archives -- http://www.niner.net/zimcrisis
- Comprehensive news updates -- http://www.1freespace.com/beetee
- Offers of and requests for help for Zimbabweans -- http://pub9.ezboard.com/boffersofhelp
- Commercial Farmers' Union -- http://www.mweb.co.zw/cfu
- Movement for Democratic Change -- http://www.in2zw.com/mdc
- Zimbabwe Democracy Trust -- http://www.zimbabwedemocracytrust.org
- BSAP Pursuit of Zimbabwean Criminals -- http://www.bsaphq.f9.co.uk