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Home | ZimCrisis#114 -- Collation of Reports from Matabeleland

Date: Sun, 13 Aug 2000 20:23:47 -0700
To: "Zimbabwe Crisis Mailing List":;
From: Zimbabwe Crisis
Subject: ZimCrisis#114 -- Collation of Reports from Matabeleland

Hi everyone,

My abject apologies for the dearth of information from me lately. I have been behind the eight ball in my business and needed to catch-up, and now I am behind several eight balls with this mailing list.

My thanks to the person who has been sending me the reports below from Matabeleland. These summarise some of what has been happening to these people over the last few weeks. Some of it is obviously old news, but one of my objectives is to bring you reports from the people who are actually directly affected by all of this.

Rather than sending you everything I have received over the last three weeks, I will do three things:

1) Create a summary for those who may have been out of touch,
2) Forward only a few of the more interesting texts that I have received that can't be done justice in a summary, and
3) Refer you to the site run by Karen ( http://www.1freespace.com/beetee ) who has been doing a much better job than I of keeping on top of the situation.

Karen sends out a list of updates that she has made to the site on an almost daily basis. I will start passing these along to you, as it seems to me that there have been some people out there who have been relying almost solely on me for news. As I said above, there is at least one person out there doing a vastly superior job to me.

Thanks to all those who have sent me messages and material. I will be responding to your messages over the next few days.


Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 19:34:18 +0200

As I told you before we were reported to dispol for having MDC youths on the farm. We were contacted by the Senior commissioner of police here in Matabeleland. His concern was not for us having the youth on the farm, but that we would be tempted to take the law in out own hands. Today there is a MDC celebration in Siganda. The local MP for Inyathi and the MP for Nkayi are adamant that the resettlement program will be done orderly and all squatters are to be moved off the farms first. The CFU have approached us with the offer to move us to another farms as they feel the problem on our farm and the neighbour's farm will be never ending. I hope and pray they are wrong as I have no wish to start all over again at our age.

The nation wide strike is to start on Monday and I hear that they are considering taking action until Wednesday. We have been told to keep all the children out of schools and farms workers are to come to work but they are to be seen sitting in the compounds.

Will keep you informed.

Date: Sun, 30 Jul 2000 21:18:39 +0200

Yesterday we had an MDC celebration in Siganda. The war vets tried to stop the people from attending by setting up road blocks. We fetched CIO from Nkayi and they sorted out the problem in no time. The celebrations were attended by between 5000 and 6000 people. The last time that happened here in Matabeleland was when Joshua Nkomo had a celebration. Expectations are very high for the MDC MP's. The people voted for change and they want and expect change.The two local MP's for Nkayi and Inyathi gave their speeches. When job creation was mention a roar of approval went up from the crowd. The people are hungry they want jobs in order to feed their families. Land was greeted with disapproval as most of these people have relations or friends who work on the farms and the general consensus is that the land will either go to the big chiefs or the Shona people will be moved onto the land. They also say that land without money is of no use. They want jobs. Altogether it was a very pleasant and fruitful day.

Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 00:28:08 +0200

Nice to hear from you. Dispol is the head of the police for Matabeleland. We went to town today and were greeted by horrible news. Mugabe and his cronies now want at least 3000 farms plus the original 804. We had a long meeting with the CFU and the future looks very gloomy. Mac Crawford is normally very optimistic. Today was too awful. There were things discussed which I wish I could tell you about but it was a closed meeting and all I will say at the moment is that the MDC and CFU are talking about a state of emergency, being detained, moved off farms forcefully etc. Just plain nasty. As soon as I may I will give you all the details. You ask why the interest in our farm? Who knows. Both our neighbour and ourselves were not on the list and all of a sudden they want our farms as well. All I can think of is that we have stood on toes or else somebody has decided that they like the house and would like to live here, who knows with these people. I have given up trying to work out how their minds work.Thank you once more for all the hard work, we appreciate it very much. It is nice to know that someone somewhere cares.

Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2000 14:34:07 +0200

On our news this morning it was announced that a new list will be coming out with 3041 farms on it. This is for fast track resettlement. There are 92 farms in Matabeleland North which are on the list. That basically covers the whole of Matland North as we all have large tracks of land due to the low carrying capacity. My phone has been down and I have not been able to find out more information for you. Living 120 kilometres from town on a very bad strip road has its advantages and at times like this disadvantages. Will keep you informed

Date: Sat, 5 Aug 2000 19:56:15 +0200

Today was a horrible day. We had an incident on our neighbour's farm on Thursday evening. He has an American hunter in camp on his property. On Thursday evening the hunter shot an eland. The squatters, who apparently come from our farm, stopped the vehicle and demanded to know who gave them the right to shoot on this property as it was theirs. The local MP was contacted, he in turn contacted propol in Bulawayo who in turn contacted the local police at Inyathi and demanded that they react immediately. During the week the DA and the police went down to Good wood farm supposedly to see about resettlement. (Half of this property was offered to government for resettlement a long time ago and nothing was done about it. The end of last year apparently the cheque for 16 million Zimbabwe dollars in payment for the half of the property was seen on Kangai's desk. This later disappeared when all the squatter problems started. This farm is on the 804 list.) Yesterday evening a vehicle full of rabble went to the farm and threatened to kill the workers. The bosboy immediately went to the police who said they would offer them protection and told the bosboy to phone Alex. Just after he had phoned, the police changed their minds and said they could no longer offer protection. This morning two army vehicles and two District Council vehicles full of soldiers and rabble went to the farm and abducted the workers. They took them to a meeting which Obert Mpofu was meant to host. This meeting was called by Obert Mpofu as he wanted to start the fast track resettlement scheme. When we heard that the workers had been abducted we contacted the police and propol immediately. They said they were leaving for the scene immediately. (Everybody seemed too scared to do anything.) We later found out that that was a lie and they left much later to attend the meeting. The workers were severely beaten at the meeting and the police took 7 of them to hospital. Some more injured are on their way to the hospital. We know of 19 workers who have been beaten. The CIO have confiscated Alex's weapons and taken them to the Nkayi police station. This whole tragedy could have been avoided if only the police had reacted when they heard there was a life threatening situation.

Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 01:55:22 +0200

The story is that the workers were handcuffed and beaten with poles. They were then thrown onto a pickup and taken to a meeting which was been hosted by Obert Mpofu. The people in attendance at the meeting amounted to 200 and these people were war vets who were collected by the army and brought to the meeting. These workers were paraded in front of the people at the meeting and Obert Mpofu ordered them to be dealt with. There were police, army, CIO and dispol present at the meeting. The workers were taken to the side where they were dealt with and later a policeman from Siganda collected 7 and took them to the hospital. In total 19 were beaten. 7 are still in hospital. Obert Mpofu and the CIO then carried on to say that the people must "sort" Richard Xxxxx, Alex Xxxxx and Peter Xxxxx. This morning there were a lot of soldiers in the area. It looks as though they collected some war vets and they have left the area as far as we know.

Date: Mon, 7 Aug 2000 03:48:48 +0200

A house belonging to an elderly couple was trashed and cash, weapons and other goods stolen. All the house staff were beaten up. The intruders were armed.

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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