War vets attack black farmers in Masvingo

Tsaurai Stemere’s burnt vehicle (picture courtesy of Southern Eye)

By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
22 July 2014

The farming community in Masvingo province has been shocked by attacks on  black farmers by suspected war vets.

One of the farmers, Mufaro Mukaro was struck with an axe to his head and is now in hospital where his condition is described as serious.

According to the Newsday newspaper after the attack, Mukaro was initially admitted at Ndanga District Hospital on Sunday, but was later transferred to Masvingo General Hospital on Monday with the axe still lodged in his head.

The indigenous farmer is one of two attacked on Saturday in a new wave of farm invasions targeting black farm owners. 76 year-old Tsaurai Lawrence Stemere, who owns Sundowns Farm, told the paper he survived the brutal attack on Saturday but his Nissan Twin Cab vehicle was reduced to a shell and his house was set ablaze by the marauding war vets.

Ben Freeth, a farmer and spokesman for the SADC Tribunal Rights Watch, told our Speak Out Padare program on Tuesday the attacks could indicate there are no more white farms to grab.

‘The shift in their modus operandi may be that they have run out of white farms to take, with only a few remaining. The farms they are targeting now were bought in bona fide way back in the 1990’s.

‘It will be interesting to see what will happen to the people carrying out these attacks. When they took our farm, burnt down our houses, took away our crops and tractors, no one was arrested,’ he said.

Contributing to the same program economic analyst Luke Zunga explained that the latest attacks were senseless for a country that is struggling to resuscitate its economy with agriculture as the backbone.

‘Anybody sensible can recognise that agriculture plays a major role in helping rebuild the economy. What is farming on the farms now is lawlessness that will militate against any economic recovery,’ he said.

 

 



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