Man axed as farm invasions turn violent

MASVINGO - A local farm owner is battling for life at Masvingo Provincial Hospital after he was struck by an axe on the head by marauding war veterans.

The ex-liberation fighters were invading his farm in Masvingo East.

Mufaro Mukaro of Mudspruit Farm is in a medical comma at the provincial referral hospital where he is receiving treatment, while Lawrence Tsaurai Stemere of Sundowns Farm lost property worth tens of thousands of dollars after his farm house and car were torched by the gang.

Although the Press was barred from seeing Mukaro at the hospital, Stemere told the Daily News that he was left with nothing after about 20 war veterans, led by their self-styled commander Daniel Matiki, pounced on his farm house around 1800 hours.

He said the mob poured petrol inside the house and set it ablaze.

The gang also proceeded to his garage where they set alight his twin cab Nissan Hardbody.

“As I speak now, I am only left with the clothes I am wearing,” said 76-year-old Stemere.

“They pounced at my house while I was away and broke into my bedroom and set alight everything before doing the same to my vehicle.”

He said he reported the matter to Masvingo Central Police Station yesterday under RRB number 2098509.  Charity Mazula, the Masvingo police spokesperson,was not picking up her phone.

Ten suspects have since been arrested while Matiki is said to be on the run.

Stemere said the war veterans were targeting black farmers who bought properties just  after independence.

“We are still failing to understand why these guys are targeting fellow black farmers when the government policy is clear that no black-owned farms should be invaded,” he said.

“This time they have gone too far as they nearly killed my neighbour and destroyed everything that I have worked for.”

He said he was lucky to be alive. Over 300 war veterans have invaded close to 13 black-owned farms in Masvingo East farming area, accusing them of playing front for former white commercial farmers who were booted out in the often-violent 2000 land grabs.

Davis Marapira, the deputy Agriculture minister, who is also the local legislator for Masvingo North, condemned the attacks.

“The attacks are grossly unacceptable, those people do not have the powers to allocate land for themselves or invade other black people’s farms,” Marapira said.

“What they did is illegal. Only the Lands ministry has the legal obligation to distribute land, not individuals.”
Stemere said he lost property worth over $70 000, including his vehicle.

Other farms that have been invaded include, Potyo, Chigumedhe, Thankerton, Mudzikisi, Chipare, Chitumba, Pakai, Mhunga, Mukuta and Mtendi farms.

Comments (4)

I applaud the police for arresting the perpetrators of the heinous act. Although I may not be privy to the specifics of the goings on, there is no justification for the brutal attacks be it on fellow black farm owners or white owners, human life is human, lets respect its sanctity. I wish if the police can apply the same swift action on all political violence acts to send a strong message to the world that Zimbabwe might be going through a difficult time economically but we do not support savage acts by whoever wherever.

Tonderai Gonzo - 22 July 2014

The so called land reform as it is will always be a recipe for disaster. Who'll have a legal claim to the land he never bought?It will always be survival of the fittest. Bloody wars on free land will never end!!!

ZHARAYAKARUMA - 22 July 2014

If they are attacking blacks who bought farms soon after independence, then probably the reason is that such blacks were half-white for some time . Where would they have goten that kind of money 1 yr into independence? Such money was probably made in Rhodesia whilst every other black was sodding poor. How does anyone make money when everyone else is wallowing in poverty? There is your answer. Maybe these victims want to explain their source of funds first? Something everyone else don't know must be known by someone somewhere and bang! The other time the audience got shocked to learn that one famous businessman whose fortunes were now in a nose diving freefall made his fortune loudmouthing anyone anywhere every morning from Ian Smith's gunship helicopters and he was now claiming persecution? These things have a hang-over effect,and shadows follow their masters. The ordinary audience are no better judges in this because they lack the background facts.'Maprevious' acho. This could be the business end of ma'previous' acho. Tineinazvo nhai Mtimba?

Sniper - 22 July 2014

The moment one start talking the more he or she exposes his stupidity like idiot Sniper . Who told you that during Rhodesia every one was poor when actually we were better off than today. People can make money anytime like now when everybody is poor but others are making money . In Rhodesia we had rich milioneirs .If you are a born free ask those who were there will tell you how it used to be.

Diibulaanyika - 22 July 2014

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