Police stop Mash Central farm invasions

HARARE - Police have descended on farm invaders in Mashonaland Central Province who were evicting the remaining white farmers.

Minister of state for Provincial Affairs Mashonaland Central Martin Dinha told the Daily News they are not going to allow senseless disruption of farming.

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

Dinha said the raging land wars have caught the eye of Lands and Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora, who will descend on the province today.

“The minister is coming to clear the issue and we hope people will respect the law and stop these unnecessary invasions,” Dinha said.

“It is only legal authorities who have the right to administer land matters and we are not going to embark on an indiscriminate land grab.”

He said the white farmers in the province have already borrowed loans to fund their farming activities and it was unnecessary for people who already have somewhere to farm to target such land.

The farm invasions are also threatening Zimbabwe’s bilateral relations with Belgium, whose national farm was facing seizure.

Zanu PF politburo member George Rutanhira, who was seeking to prise Tizoro Farm from a white farmer Guy Dollar, was chased by armed police officers.

The General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) said workers have since returned to work.

“The workers are back at work after eight police officers from Centenary came to the farm. But he (Rutanhira) is saying he is going to return to the farm as soon as he returns from this week’s politburo meeting,” said Davison Nyowani from GAPWUZ.

Rutanhire declined to comment saying he does not talk to the media.

Dinha told the Daily News yesterday that he personally asked police to intervene.

At Tizoro farm in Centenary, the 450 workers whose livelihoods had been disrupted by the farm grabs, are now back at work.

But the farm workers have gone for close to three weeks without pay because of the land squabbles.

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