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Introduction
 
Jerry is a white farmer whose land has been allocated to other people. For the moment his family is staying put, waiting to be served with an eviction order.

As things stand at the moment we are just doing our utmost to keep the wheels turning.

We have an obligation to keep our business going and our employees employed under what could be described as very difficult circumstances.

We are expecting to be served with the recent legal sections of compulsory acquisition at any minute. We are living under the threat of the 90-day eviction.

Our farm has been "donated" to three beneficiaries - not poverty-stricken landless peasants, but three well-to-do people in high places.

They have actually introduced and identified themselves and have come to check out the place. They swan about the farm and sometimes talk to the workers. The area that they have been given amounts to the whole farm.

We asked where we stand in the equation and the question could not be answered. So at the moment it seems we face eviction.

Our priority at the moment is the safety of our immediate family and ourselves and that of our workers. We are three top management families and 100 families are workers.

Workers caught in the middle

The workers are under extreme pressure. They face harassment and intimidation and are forced to attend re-education rallies at night and also during working time.

Their position is extremely precarious - this is putting extreme pressure on them and their families.

We have received implied and direct threats. If you don't toe the line and accede to demands the threats are there. And as we know they are quite capable of carrying them out.

When the three men came to see the farm I felt totally empty at first. Then just a feeling that this cannot happen.

If they want to purchase my farm under a totally transparent legal and proper fashion then so be it. But not in this fashion.

We have relied on the strength of our convictions that this is just not going to happen.

Unknown future

We have not made plans to leave. Our whole livelihood is on the farm. We have put everything in it for 35 years.

I have a son working with me on the farm and he wishes to make his future there and we will do our best to support him. So we have no intention of going anywhere - we would not be able to afford it anyway.

And meanwhile we're trying to formulate our farming policy under these circumstances - it's hard to keep going.

It is especially difficult at this time of year when we should be planning for the winter crop, the winter wheat. But no plans can be made for that at all and it is of vital importance.

We have no guarantees that there will be no interference.

The economic downturn also means that fertilisers and chemicals are just simply not available. There is also a shortage of fuel.

With our summer crops it has been a stop-start situation because of the invasion threat. We have a crop of sorts in the ground, but it is far from being a complete crop.

I'm nervous, but we just carry on day-to-day as best we can just hoping that some sense of normality is not too far away.


Our farm has been "donated" to three beneficiaries - not poverty-stricken landless peasants, but three well-to-do people in high places
  Listen to audio

Ruling party militants
When the three men came to see the farm I felt totally empty at first. Then just a feeling that this cannot happen

Ruling party militants
We have not made plans to leave. Our whole livelihood is on the farm. We have put everything in it for 35 years

cooking oil shortage
 
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