By Tererai Karimakwenda
11 January, 2012
A white farmer named Ken Drummond is reported to have teamed up with war vet Francis Zimuto, who calls himself Black Jesus, and the unlikely duo are alleged to be intimidating the remaining white farmers in the Chiredzi and Hippo Valley area, taking over properties illegally.
SW Radio Africa reported earlier this week that war vets had taken over Mteri Lodge on the Hippo Valley estate and that Drummond was after the hunting rights. We have since been informed that Zimuto was behind the takeover and has been intimidating the owners at nearby Nhari Lodge.
The two are also alleged to be involved in similar deals at Impala Ranch and Savuli Ranch, both in the Save Valley Conservancy. Five thugs working for Zimuto invaded Savuli ranch four months ago and are living there, attempting to turn the workers against the owner.
Sources in Chiredzi who chose not to be identified, said Zimuto is working for the former ZANU-PF Minister Shuvai Mahofa. Drummond has visited Savuli with his son Tiki, pretending it was an inspection.
“Mai Mahofa” claims to be the new owner of Savuli and has produced a copy of a lease, according to trusted sources, who said close inspection showed that the lease was invalid and had different dates on the pages.
Zimbabwe’s wild life conservancies have been under constant threat for ten years and there appears to be a concerted effort to remove all remaining obstacles to plundering them. Massive deforestation is taking place as all the trees are cut down and thousands of animals continue to be snared and slaughtered.
Deon Theron, former president of the Commercial Farmers Union, said the conservancies were protected by law, but the absence of the rule of law means any individual can target an area and invade with impunity.
“Although there is a unity government we all know that ZANU PF dictates what should happen. Over the last ten years the law has been applied selectively and those with the right connections are not prosecuted,” Theron explained.