Land Issue

An explanation of the Land Issue from a position of fairness


Colonisation in the Third World took no account of tribal and natural language borders, a root cause of civil wars and genocide today. Even in Britain, it has taken hundreds of years to overcome the differences between Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England.

European Southern African history only acknowledges Chaka and the Zulus as the great warring tribes of note, whose territory extended to Matabeleland in southern Zimbabwe from South Africa and yet Chief Chingwe with his court in Zomba, Malawi, ruled a greater area extending to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and others.

It was possibly for this reason that Zomba, a relatively small town, was chosen by Britain as the Capital of Nyasaland (Described by Her Royal Majesty, The Queen Mother on an official visit, as the most beautiful Capital in the World) where industry was expressly prohibited. It is thus that the majority of main local languages in those African countries are very similar today as opposed to those of Botswana and South Africa. It was only in the late fifties, early sixties, that concrete evidence of Chief Chingwe’s existence was discovered by European archeologists and historians hence, the historic gap.

In Zimbabwe there has always been a division between the Shona and Ndebele speaking people simply because artificial borders were wrongly placed in the process of colonisation as, over the passage of time, the Zulus and others migrated north into Chief Chingwe’s Kingdom resultant of the settlers in the Cape and South Africa..

There needs to be greater international understanding and appreciation of the inherent and economic difficulties of ruling multi culture and multi lingual countries. It is only recently that Europe has been exposed to same, be as it may in a minor way, with the massive immigration, as opposed, to the situation where, historically and sensibly, European countries borders were based on lingual differences. (France, Spain, Germany, Italy etc.) 

There are many indigenous within those European countries today that make the realistic complaint that their historic national identity and culture is slowly being eroded and, whilst the view is considered racialist by some, it is to the contrary, nationalistic, with far reaching negative economic consequences. 

This extends to Third World countries who find themselves, resultant of imposed borders, with a far greater problem resulting in massive refugee problems and political instability.In Malawi after Indepenence, Dr Banda the then President, introduced a national language compiled of mixed local languages in an attempt to eradicate future tribal differences. 

The writers late father, an Overseas British Civil Servant, was tasked with producing the dictionary and included local customs for for the benefit of foreign diplomats. It was consided benficial to learn the traditional manners, customs and mannerisms as a means of respect and by so doing fostering healthy diplomatic relations. The language has withstood the passage of time and remains the only artificial language to gain national acceptance in world history, effectively being, 'a language of peace'.

The Land Issue

While Britain claims that most of Europe and the World, including Britain itself, historically speaking, was a colony at one point or another, in recent times, with the increased protection of human and civil rights, compensation has been awarded. There are even recent situations such as the State of Israel where the Jews effectively retook land claiming it was the “Promised Land” of biblical times and their inheritance or, the case of compensation paid to Kuwait by Iraq.

The former Rhodesia was taken by military force and, many Africans and British soldiers died in the War commemorated by a monument in the Matopos of Matabeleland (referred to locally as the first Chimurenga). The British Army paid tribute to the courage of the Ndebele warriors who took part in the final battle this courage depicted, to this day, on the memorial in the Matopos.

Ironically, the name Rhodesia was not named after Cecil John Rhodes as is commonly promoted but borrowed from a local division of an international, non-racial, interdenominational, charitable body of men that adopted the name approximately two years previously. From letters written to a male lover in London by Rhodes, stored in a local library, it would appear that he was a homosexual, which may further explain the current Presidents aversion to gays.
The House of Lords ruled in the matter between the British South Africa Co. and Compagnia de Mocambique that the land in Rhodesia as it was then could not be owned by either as it was foreign land. It was thus compensation was awarded on colonisation for improvements only.
Notwistanding this, land was issued titled deeds after colonisation. - thus President Mugabe was correct when hr stated that the land was stolen.

Factually, Rhodesia declared UDI on the back of another internationally illegal act by Britain, the formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Nyasaland was a Protectorate country and not a Colony and you may not join a Protectorate country to a colony or any other country. It was this illegal act that inspired Dr Hastings Banda to seek the independence of Nyasaland from Britain, which spread throughout the three territories.

Emphasising the illegality, years previously, Portugal, for the sum of one hundred pounds, offered Britain a strip of land joining Nyasaland to the coast of Mozambique thus providing a port, presumably rejected by Britain because Nyasaland was a Protectorate and they had no lawful mandate to change its boundaries.

For the Blair Government to aver publicly in the Commons, in respect of Zimbabwe, that it cannot be held responsible for ‘the sins of previous British governments’, is a public disgrace and untrue. Factually, when you take on the leadership of a country or company you take on its liabilities as well as its assets as was imposed on Zimbabwe – If Tony Blair and his government didn’t want to do this then quite simply, they shouldn’t have taken on the job. It was the British Government itself who imposed the Illegal Smith Regimes war debt on Independent Zimbabwe?

Be as it may the Smith/ Rhodesian Government of UDI became racist, the reason for UDI was 'security of tenure of land' and the fact that the then British government refused to discuss the subject. The then British Government intended to take British land that they had previously sold and give it back to a new government, yet to be formed, of indigenous Africans. The all white Rhodesian government feared that the land would be taken without compensation as had occurred in Zambia - "The birth of the Land Issue".

Factually, whilst the declaration of UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) is often attributed to the Smith government, Ian Smith became Prime Minister at a later stage. There is evidence to support that perhaps the most financially powerful syndicate of multi nationals ever formed in the world pre-empted UDI by at least a year and planned accordingly.

Ironically, both whites and blacks had the same complaint, land was the stumbling block, and in a sense they were and are on the same side. Had they worked together, perhaps, they could have pressured Britain into the compensation promised at Independence and averted the 15 years of UDI and the loss of many lives. Legally, all compensation should have gone through the "Lands Tribunal" in Britain at Independence it being considered British land by both Britain and the International Community and, it was insufficient for Lord Carrington to state laterally " Britain takes full responsibility" (extract from the minutes of the Lancaster House meeting).

If it were not considered British land then why was it sold and, revenue repatriated to Britain? (Recorded in the National Archives of Zimbabwe) Again, post World War two, due to massive unemployment in Britain, British Nationals were actively encouraged to settle in what was then Rhodesia by the British Government often utilising their savings in Britain.

The Smith/ Rhodesian Government of UDI in Rhodesia, classified as an illegal regime by Britain, the UN and the International Community, illegally passed the racist Land Tenure Act 55 of 1969. (Objectionable sections depicted below) This replaced the British Land Apportionment Act of 1941 in terms of which, an African could own land in a European area.

11. (1) The European area shall be an area in which the interests of Europeans are paramount.

11. (2) Subject to the provisions of Parts VI and VII............
(a)   An African shall not own lease or occupy land in the European area.

Although this was amended some 8 years later in terms of the Land Tenure Amendment Act 22 of 1977 where the word ‘urban’ was inserted, right of ownership by the wrong race did not convey right of occupation. The following addition meant that those Africans who had already purchased land in a now designated white area could not even pass on their land through inheritance: -  

S. 79. A testamentary disposition or intestate succession by which a person would otherwise acquire or hold immovable property which in term of this act he may not own shall be deemed to be a testamentary disposition or succession in respect of the net proceeds of that land and it shall be the duty of the executor of the estate of the deceased to realise the land as soon as may be convenient.

Simply put an African could not inherit a farm or land in a European area which included the spouse or children of the deceased, meaning, that those blacks that had previously purchased land in the now European area during direct British rule would be phased out. As an illegal regime cannot pass legal laws or acts then, at Independence in 1980, those Africans who had lost their farms and businesses as a result should have resumed ownership with the help of the British Government and been compensated by Britain. Lord Carrington of Britain stated, on behalf of the British Government, at Lancaster House in London that ‘Britain took full responsibility’.

It really matters not whether the British government accepted responsibility or not, they claimed ownership of Rhodesia for the duration of UDI stating categorically, that the Smith regime was illegal and therefore had a duty to protect landowner’s rights in their territory. Additionally, Britain had a Governor in attendance for the duration of the UDI period.

Instead, all that Britain did was to illegally negotiate a 10-year grace period for the white farmers. (It was pre election and neither the Zimbabwe government nor its landowners, were represented - a Zimbabwe government was yet to be elected and formed. What would have been the legality of the agreement had another been elected at the impending Independence elections?) The writer makes no objection to a cease-fire agreement but to the agreement which converted all farms, commercial/ industrial land and residential land, previously sold by the British government whilst a British colony as freehold, to a 10-year lease without compensation.

It was thus that the Smith Regime evicted the black farmers and the British Government effectively evicted the white farmers, including many that were British Nationals.

What should have happened at Independence is that Britain should have compensated all the landowners it had sold land to, irrespective of race or nationality, prior, to giving the land back to the indigenous Africans, as funds from the original sale of land had been repatriated back to Britain. Note: - In other colonies such as Kenya, land was leasehold and Britain did compensate some individuals.

Britain may not argue that this was a situation where all the inhabitants of Rhodesia were given Independence, their land back as, many were citizens of the UK and Colonies be as it may their British Nationality was almost simultaneously removed. Fearful that many of all races would return to Britain, local British nationals were reduced to a second class citizenship which allowed you to travel and visit the UK on a British passport but without the right of abode in Britain. Further restriction was the lack of local foreign currency resultant of lack of compensation by Britain. It was thus that many war heroes and veterans of the Second World War or/ and their descendants, resultant of being third generation British Citizens in a British Colony, became a second class British Citizen.

The fact that the 10 year grace period was muted and agreed, confirmed, that at all times, the British Government was fully aware that the whites in Zimbabwe would have to forfeit their land, and that, this was not the same situation that had existed in Australia or Canada where, there was no financial loss to minorities or the individual. Had compensation been effected it would have given farmers and landowners who wished to remain, the opportunity of negotiating the repurchase with the Zimbabwe government thereby obtaining Zimbabwe deeds or a Zimbabwe lease. Thus, the “Land issue” would not have arisen at the recent election and the violence and resultant further economic decay would simply not have occurred.

Whilst the Blair government claims that the British government paid out forty-four million pounds since Independence this was for “Land reform to help the rural poor” paid directly to the Zimbabwe government and not, compensation to the landowner.

It was not until the year 2000, twenty years later and ten years after the ten-year grace period expired, that Robin Cook created a fund specifically to purchase farmland from the white farmers be as it may, it had a zero balance.(According to Peter Hains, under lengthy pressure at his examination before the Select Committee on Zimbabwe, not withstanding that the fund had previously been publicly advertised.) Too late by decades to avert violence, it was also considerably less expensive to allow farmers to be evicted by the Zimbabwe Government. Peter Hain stated that only those that were not evicted were eligible for compensation by Britain. Perhaps it was because those not evicted were unlikely to request compensation that no funds were allocated to the farm compensation account.

Thus, land previously sold to one individual had been given to another and the first individual could only access compensation if the new owner didn’t evict him/ her.

It was, in fact, the addition of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (16) Act, 2000 Section 16A, Agricultural land acquired for resettlement, to the Constitution of Zimbabwe by the Zimbabwe government, depicted below, that prompted the establishment of the new compensation fund, referred to above, by Robin Cook of the British government.

"(1)   In regard to the compulsory acquisition of agricultural land for the resettlement of people in accordance with a program of land reform, the following factors shall be regarded as of ultimate and overriding importance –
(a)   under colonial domination the people of Zimbabwe were unjustifiably dispossessed of their land and other resources without compensation;
(b)   the people subsequently took up arms in order to regain their land and political sovereignty, and this ultimately resulted in the Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980;
(c)   the people of Zimbabwe must be enabled to reassert their rights and regain ownership of their land; and accordingly : -
    (i)    the former colonial power has an obligation to pay compensation for agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement, through a fund established for that purpose; and
    (ii)   if the former colonial power fails to pay compensation through such fund, the Government of Zimbabwe has no obligation to pay compensation for agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement.

(2)   In view of the overriding considerations set out in subsection (1), where agricultural land is acquired compulsorily for the resettlement of people in accordance with a program of land reform, the following factors shall be taken into account in the assessment of any compensation that may be payable : -

(a)   the history of the ownership, use and occupation of the land;
(b)   the price paid for the land when it was acquired;
(c)   the cost or value of improvements on the land;
(d)   the current use to which the land and any improvements on it are being put;
(e)   any investment which the State or the acquiring authority may have made which improved or enhanced the value of the land and any improvements on it;
(f)     the resources available to the acquiring authority in implementing the program of land reform;
(g)   any financial constraints that necessitate the payment of compensation in installments over a period of time; and any other relevant factor that may be specified in an Act of Parliament.”

There is a need to depict the circumstances of losing ones inheritance and possessions through illegal laws and, to illustrate the method the land was taken away in order to justify the necessity of the above amendment to the Constitution, applying moral pressure on Britain. 

The Chiriseri families eviction from their Farm

The writer depicts below the personal detailed circumstances of Lovemore Chiriseriwho’s fatherwas assassinated/ murdered during the early years of UDI on the 11th September, 1971.

Resultant of illegal racist inheritance laws depicted above, the Chiriseri family lost the greater part of their inheritance including,Welhelmina farm in the white Beatrice area and several businesses. It must have been hard for an African to amass such assets in those early years, bought and paid for in full and, one can only imagine the shock at losing the land, in their eyes, twice. Firstly, when it became the British colony of Rhodesia and British land, and secondly when, after having purchased the land back, it was taken again.

The late Mr Ernest Mashiri Chiriseri purchased a farm in the Beatrice Commercial Farming Area in 1961 nearly a decade before the law declaring it a ‘European only’ area. The farm was known as Welhelmina Farm and was to become the first casualty of the racist land law depicted above. On the 12th September, 1971, a decade later, at just 41 years old he was assassinated or murdered. It is difficult to say with certainty which it was, because he was a well known politician, at the time a would-be successor to the late Joshua Nkomo, the former/ late Vice President of Zimbabwe, leader of Zapu affectionately considered today “Father Zimbabwe”.

Resultant of the Smith Government Land Act, the farm, being in a designated white area, could not be inherited by an African and therefore was sold to a white. There is family complaint of under-valuation of the estate which, would appear to be evidenced by the fact that there are no auction charges/ fees for assets sold in the Final Liquidation Account. D.R.No.1313/ 71. The farm was simply sold to a Mr F.J.Nell for the sum of $12,500 (Approximately 6,250 pounds sterling) by Deed of Transfer no. 5123/ 72 which appears to be excessively low for a huge farm in a white farming area.
One thing may be said with certainty from the death certificate and autopsy report and that is that the deceased was murdered. 

There is additionally, further mystery: -

1. The late E.M.Chiriseri underwent a Christian marriage solemnised in church in terms of British law as opposed to customary law and therefore his lawful wife and legitimate children should have inherited the estate in event of there being no will.

2. Further, the Chiriseri family claim there was a will, which was ignored, in safe keeping at the bank of the deceased.

3. Ignoring the legal marriage and British Law, the heir to the estate was instead named as Robson ChengaoseChiriseri, the deceased younger brother, and worker on the farm in terms of customary law by the Executor Dative, Attorney A.J.A.Peck. 

4. The Chiriseri Family claim that they were unable to establish who precisely appointed A.J.A.Peck as Executor Dative.

5. The Executor Dative, A.J.A.Peck appointed a Mr J.A.Deary as Assignee of the estate after the Full and Final Liquidation and Distribution Account was finalised.

6. The Chiriseri family have never been able to establish on what basis an Assignee was appointed after a full and final liquidation where A.J.A.Peck averred in the distribution account on the 4th January, 1973.
“To Robson ChengaoseChiriseri ; heir to the estate --- certifying that there were no further assets to be realised or claims to be paid."
Simply put, he certified that the assets of the estate had been distributed to the heir, the younger brother, and that was not true.

On a Friday morning, early 1973, the wife, children, some 4 years old at the time, were forcibly removed by armed Rhodesian government forces from what legally was their land because, they were now dwelling in a whites only farming area. (See Master of the High Courts File no. 1313/1971.) The children complain they were made to run for some 20 kilometres where the entire family and relatives took refuge in one of their late father’s shops.  

There is a need to emphasise the implications of the above decisions. The deceased had the option of marrying in either African Customary law or British law and he chose British law to protect his wife and children. (The only possible reason for opting for British Law would have been to convey inheritance rights to his wife and children.) It was, additionally, a Christian wedding, solemnised at Chishawasha Mission on the 15th May 1955 and, not only did the wife not inherit anything, she, in her own right, became an asset of the estate in customary law. It was thus, in customary law, that she became the property/ wife of the younger brother of the deceased and farm employee, described as simple, to do with as he wished.(KugadzwaNhaka)

There is also a need to describe the civil position/ importance in Zimbabwe of the deceased, E.M.Chiriseri, a direct descendant of Karimandari Chiriseri who was executed at Harare Central Prison during the first Chimurenga (The war in Matabeleland against colonisation defending their sovereignty and land). The family and Lovemore Chiriseri still wish to know the location of their great grandfather’s body in order to perform burial rights.

When, Ernest Mashiri Chiriseri, the deceased, tried to live within British Colonial Law and cohabit with whites on their terms, the area in which he resided was turned into a whites only farming area and he suffered the injustice of losing everything, including his life, because he was an African.

It happened that Dr.J.M.Nkomo, the leader of ZAPU, E.M.Chiriseri along with his wife and young son, Lovemore Chiriseri, Cde. Msika, S. Marembo were arrested on the Chiriseri farm (Wilhelmina farm in Beatrice) by Rhodesian security forces and jailed at Gonakudzingwa prison, in their quest to return the illegal Smith/ Rhodesian government back to the rule of law, British Law, in pursuit of Independence. It was only after his release that E.M.Chiriseri, natural successor to Joshua Nkomo, was assassinated/ murdered

Additionally, the family did not just lose the farm, considerable livestock and implements it was extended to other fixed assets and goods and the writer depicts below, the assessment at the time which, totally contradicts the executors valuation of between $600 and $2000 a business, unless, it was a valuation after destruction.

Chiriseri Store – The Shop was burnt by Rhodesian Security forces residing at “copper barracks”. At present some roof trusses which were burnt are not yet replaced. Goods from Chionana store and Mutombwera stores were all taken to No 1 store at Chiriseri Service Centre. Stock was destroyed worth approximately $35000 including beer and minerals, cigarettes, mealie meal, matches, sugar etc. Personal belongings such as beds, mattresses and blankets were burnt as well.

Chiriseri Service Station - Burnt goods included a petrol tank with at least 3200 litres of fuel, Diesel tank with at least 2900 litres of diesel, paraffin tank with 2200litres of paraffin, Kiosk building with goods worth over $2000, 59 X 500ml. Cases BP oil, 160 cases minerals, 3 X 200litres of power paraffin, 15 X 20 litres of oil, 2 cartons matches, 22 X 500ml Mazoe syrup cordial, I X Office desk. Reported by R.C.Chiresri and Silas Mufakwadziya.

Chiriseri Landas Bar – Goods were taken by the Rhodesian Forces saying they were looking for Magandanga, Zanla forces. Those working and staying there were accused of inheriting the business from whites although no white had made a formal complaint. Stock of at least $30000 was lost, some taken by the Rhodesian Forces, some vandalised, some went missing later due to lack of security at the premises. Mhondoro Store, Ngezi - Forced to close and lock the shop by Rhodesian auxiliary forces. All goods were vandalised and perishables turned bad. Personal belongings were simply left in an adjoining house. Two groundnut-milling machines left outside were stolen. Stock in trade lost was approximately $24000 and an amount of cash. Reported by RC Chiriseri

Chirenje store – A rented store, family and staff arrested by security forces being accused of helping Zanla forces told they were to be tried under marshal law. Spent seven days at copper barracks being interrogated and tortured. Family members ran away abandoning the shop, which had been destroyed, until after the war. Stock worth $15000 was lost.

Whilst the estate was only valued at $66404 (33202 pounds sterling) for reasons best known to the valuator, it was still a considerable sum in those days capable of purchasing several houses in the best suburb in Harare. If one added the damages listed above then the deceased would have indeed be considered a wealthy man. Mr. Edison Sithole, a well known lawyer in Zimbabwe at the time, tirelessly fought through the courts on behalf of the Chiriseri family. Lovemore Chiriseri as a young man recalls seeing Mr E. Sithole being bundled into a car and abducted outside the Jameson Hotel in Harare after a meeting and driven off, he still recalls the vehicle details. – He was never to be seen again effectively closing the Chiriseri case in the courts.

The Lancaster House Agreement imposed on the Zimbabwe government was to be was like a bombshell to Lovemore Chiriseri, his mother and family. It meant that they had to wait another decade before they could commence trying to recover their farm. It was sad that such bodies as the Commercial Farmers Union, Civil and Human Rights Organisations, Women’s Rights Organisations (Mrs.Chiriseri’s Human and Civil rights were totally disregarded) and, local farmers did not step in to help the Chiriseri family and others to lobby the British government, thus assisting the recovery of their land, in the spirit of reconciliation, at Independence.

Adding insult to injury, John. A. Deary in his capacity as Assignee of the estate, levied monthly rentals and Liquor licences for the bar were in his personal name until at least September 1994 and probably beyond. In 1987, letters were written to the Attorney Generals Office and High Court, which were ignored. J.A.Deary was suing them for rental and the Chiriseri family even wrote to the High Court requesting a face to face meeting with Deary to explain: -

a)    How he could sue them in terms of an agreement they have never had sight of.

b)    On what basis he could sue them he not having had sight of any of the premises for 22 years and there still being a dispute over the correct heir to the estate and who appointed him to be an assignee.

c)     In the event that he could, how the claims could be settled amicably.

In September 1992, they received two court orders in the total sum of $22259,93 plus interest for rent with an accompanying letter from the Legal Practitioners stating “Please let us have payment within ten days or we will execute against your property”. In fact, the property they were occupying was their property. (Ref. HC 3447/87)

In 1994, Lovemore Chiriseri, in terms of a signed affidavit from the now deceased younger brother signed by a Commissioner of Oaths and date stamped and witnessed by the police, was given the administration rights of all the stores and bar. Throughout the period letters were written to Zimbabwe Government Ministers and in 1997, Minister Sekeramayi, Minister of State for National Security in the Presidents Office wrote to the Minister of Lands, Minister Kangai recommending the Chiriseri families appeal be positively considered. This letter was also copied by the Chiriseri family to the President of Zimbabwe after meetings with the Principal Secretary, Mr Matondo and the then Vice President , Dr J.Nkomo.

Britain has labelled Land Reform in Zimbabwe as Land Grabbing and undertaken for the sole purpose of re-election. In fact nothing could be further from the truth, these letters clearly indicate the pre-election build up of unrest over the years and pressure the government was under at a very senior level to right the wrongs of Land Distribution with, or without, British funding.

Today, Mrs Chiriseri, wife of the deceased,  heir to the estate and legitimate owner of Wilhelmina Farm, Beatrice resides in a village in Chiota, not far from Chiriseri town named after the family, in a tiny house in the communal lands, a far cry from the ways of affluence she was accustomed to.

Remarkably, Lovemore Chiriseri, a son of the deceased, natural leader and soldier of note with a sense pride and honour not normally seen, bears no malice towards Britain or whites regarding a white as one of his best friends. A popular highly respected member of the community and supporter of Greenpeace he actively promotes and monitors such issues as the protection of the environment and game in his area. It is with pride he states that he is the only elected party chairman, elected by the people in the area rather than appointed by the party. It is unlikely whether any MP would succeed in what is now the largest electoral province without his support.

He simply feels his mother and family are due an apology and compensation by the British Government or, a full explanation, in writing, of how, why, or on what basis, the British Government feel they are not legally or morally obliged to do this. In spite of the Zimbabwe Government repossessing farms, the Chiriseri family have failed to regain their farm possibly due to political reasons.

What is of significance, great significance, is that there was no international outcry at the time by First World Governments, Human Rights Organisations and United Nations as is seen today, when the white farmers were evicted in terms of those laws or agreements negotiated by Britain at Lancaster House. In fact, the racist law and evictions did not even warrant a mention on the BBC or a sentence in the International Press.

Illustrating the lack of malice towards Britain, the Chiriseri family have now two sons currently serving with the British army proposing to send a third and it is the writer’s information that at least one of them may be an officer. It is clear to the writer that those and others thus affected should be compensated in that Britain had a duty to protect their property it being internationally considered British territory at the time.

Whilst the writer in no way condones violence being a victim of same, given the political divisions at the time it is doubtful whether any local government would have had the political stability to stop it. It is the writers information that it was never the Zimbabwe’s Governments intent to proceed in the way that occurred and that the intent was merely to pressure Britain into resuming payment. It was the ‘no vote’ of the draft constitution coupled with the emergence of the opposition party funded by farmers on local legal advice (CFU’s legal advisor was a member of the ruling legal clique and may well have had a hidden agenda.) that forced the issue. Ironically the opposition laterally, publicly supported the move.

Whilst the writer noted an American with local bodyguards claiming to have been relocated from Russia to South Africa where he was now based, did some research into the new occupants of farm’s, his informant with the local Shona nickname “Magwejegweje”, was at best unreliable and there cannot be many in Zimbabwe with a more derogatory nickname. It is a local shona custom to give a nickname to all, even the writer has been awarded same. It were better that informants were researched prior to accepting information as, this informant even collected funds for both parties.

In the same area it appeared that the DA had leaning towards the opposition being based in Seki. It was thus that complaints were made that only three out of approximately 200 + A2 farmers were drawn from local supporters – there may be one or two, more recently settled, the rest locally being  considered opportunists. Thus it is hard to see the advantage to farmers, Britain and the USA of the opposition coming to power.

The above was equally apparent at new A2 farmers meetings attended by hundreds of the new affluent in the area where, in the absence of three officials and one member no tribute would be paid to Government as was the norm – the same was applicable at private committee meetings. Additionally, whilst funds were collected for the ruling party elections it is the writer’s information that only approximately 10% or less were handed in. It is possible that the Zimbabwe Government is unaware of this situation.

Thus, much of the violence in the area may well have been, inadvertently, funded by the white farmers and international community. It is the writer’s information and it is sad that one of the main promoters of violence in the area (Officially an A1 farmer but on the A2 committee and on at least five farms even one protected by International Agreement) has her husband resident in London, a former senior member of CIO locally, being “cared for” by British Intelligence.

It is distressing that so many courageous white farmers, some elderly, totally unaware of the implications or the 10 year lease on their farms ending in 1990, some who even bought farms after that date, suffered the loss of their assets, lives in some cases, injury, rape and trauma simply due to ‘successive blunders of former British Governments’ and, the local manipulation of a few. It is equally distressing that those First World countries with the bulk of the worlds wealth at hand, sat back and watched it happen.

The now famed Lancaster House Agreement and its contents have never been made available to the general public locally and were publicly called for at the instance of the Draft Constitutional Amendments from the legal fraternity, to no avail. It is significant, of great significance, that no legal practitioner, Judge or the Law Society of Zimbabwe made public statement that the draft was simply an indication of public wishes, the public simply are unqualified to make laws, it would have to be properly drafted and approved by the Ministry of Justice, approved by a legal parliamentary committee and then voted on by Parliamentarians. That the only thing legally that could be voted on, was effectively whether the public wished any changes to be submitted or not.

The writer had already voluntarily submitted constructive criticism on request, to the Ministry of Justice and debated same with the personal assistant to the Minister which contained substancially more points than Amnesty International made public laterally and yet, the legal fraternity, made no public criticism of content.

It needs to be said that Peter Hain was perhaps not the best Minister to place in a decision making position on Zimbabwe situation. He may well have been in a personal conflict situation stemming from the treatment of his parents in South Africa, a totally different country and culture, during his youth who were , I understand, declared ‘prohibited immigrants.’

Some evidence of this emerged in his examination before the Select Committee where he said:-

(Mr Hain) ….I have learnt that another farmer has been killed. I have instructed our High Commissioner in Harare to protest in the strongest possible terms at the fact that apparently an ambulance, which sought to come to his aid while he was still alive, was blocked from getting through by war veterans with the police standing by. The situation is very serious indeed……

And then in answer to the following:-

Dr Godman 35. ……….We all condemn the savage killings of Opposition politicians, farmers, and farm workers. Obviously our sympathies go to their families. Just a couple of questions on statistics.The 4,400 white farmers. Am I right in saying that they own over 30 per cent of the best arable land and that as employers they have a pretty poor record? That many of them have treated their black workers, putting it bluntly, in a brutal fashion?

(Mr Hain) That was certainly the case in the past. Many of them have a mixed record more recently. But what has been interesting about recent times is that the illegal squatting has been resisted as much by the black farm workers as by the farmers themselves because the workers see their own jobs as being in jeopardy.

And again:-

(Mr Hain) I would not want to speculate or guess on what the total is. I am trying to be as helpful as I can be. Not all of the 14,500 registered British nationals that I referred to are white.

(Mr Hain)…..This enables me to briefly make this point, these are people who want to stay in Zimbabwe, they want to continue to farm the land, to contribute to the country. It is their country, Britain is not their country.I think it is important we keep a focus on that. All of our diplomacy and all of the, I hope, pronouncements and statements of this Committee ultimately will bear in mind thatit is in the interests of those people to stay in Zimbabwe and contribute to its future.

Factually, farmers in Zimbabwe provided accommodation to their workers to specification laid down by the Zimbabwe Government, many provided schools, stores and other facilities far in excess of the requirement of any British farmer. Had there been any question of brutality then it is beyond belief that the Zimbabwe Government wouldn’t have raised it previously or laterally. It was a highly inflammatory, untrue statement and totally unnecessary in the circumstances.It was, in fact, inflammatory rhetoric that effectively neutralised the efforts of the local British High Commissioner.

By comparison Robin Cook, a British Politician of ethics and great international historic significance, acted with honour and integrity by the simple introduction of a compensation fund amongst his many other political achievements. Had he retained personal dialogue with Zimbabwe, he may well have achieved an amicable solution.

There were other problems such as, in the case of the Commonwealth, public statement that Britain would apply pressure on Nigeria and South Africa to vote in their favour on a matters of democratic principles in Zimbabwe, which caused many, supportive of democracy in the third world, to ‘look sideways’ at the affair.

There is of course much more, too much to provide in this rather hurried uncorrected draft.

Like any commercial undertaking good policy decisions may only be made on the availability of sound research and it is thus that, in fairness, Foreign Governments, Foreign Government Ministers, High Commissioners and Ambassadors undertaking relatively short terms of office, have effectively been ‘in possession of the tools without the ingredients’.

There is a urgent need, a great need, to revisit the research aspect in order to reach an amicable solution to the Land Issue and permanently address economic decay.    

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