BULAWAYO: AN aggrieved white commercial farmer in the Figtree District, south of Zimbabwe said the invasion of his properties and attempts to take over other farms reflected the greed of the local political leaders.
Dr Ray Ndhlukula, the Deputy Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, is said to have taken over Centenary Farm, owned by David Conolly.
He reported that Dr Benedict Moyo, Chairman of the Matabeleland branch of the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers, had invaded Boxwell Farm and a Mr Ashton Ndlovu had seized Banovallum Farm.
Conolly said the officials were in contempt of court. The famer reported that earlier this year, Moyo personally attacked him when they attended regional meeting of the Zimbabwe Association of Dairy Farmers.
It is said the dairy farmers chairman insisted Conolly “had to go. Your attitude 34 years after Independence is unacceptable. You have refused to play ball – you must play ball.” He allegedly spoke in the local Ndebele threatening, “Wena uyazi uzolimala!” (“You are going to get hurt!”) “These incidents are part of a step up in the wider problem of greed and lawlessness in the continued attack on property rights by the political elite in Zimbabwe in recent months,” Conolly said.
He said the actual and consequential losses incurred so far as a result of Dr Ndhlukula’s actions in contempt of the High Court Order of June 20 were now running into “tens of thousands of dollars.” Conolly is one of hundreds of farmers whose properties have been invaded over the years during the so-called land reform programmes.
These have been blamed for killing commercial agriculture, resulting in incessant food shortages in the former breadbasket of Africa.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY