Zanu PF Youths Terrorising White Farmers
Gwanda, August 24 2009- Zanu (PF) youths and war veterans here are allegedly harassing few remaining white safari operators in Matabeleland South, accusing them of not attending Zanu (PF) party meetings and demanding to know where they are sourcing capital for their farming projects.
"We have problems with these youths and war veterans, some of them were allocated conservancies in the area. It seems they are not happy with our progress. It seems these people are not happy because wildlife is deserting their farms because of poaching and they are now seeking refuge in our farms where we are trying to protect them from poaching and veldfires"
said one of the farmers Mark Davis.
Davis, who is running a conservancy along the Gwanda-Beitbridge highway, said a group of suspected Zanu (PF) youths driving a Mazda Nissan hard body visited his farm last week and demanded to know his source of his funding and accused him of not attending Zanu (PF) meetings in the area.
The culprits also accused Davis of failing to donate a kudu for the Heroes day celebrations.
Another farmer, Douglas Houge, who also runs a thriving safari in West Nicholson also complained about the behavior of the youths and war veterans in the area.
"All my workers last week were forced to attend a Zanu (PF) meeting in the area. During the meeting threats to take over my farm and that of Davis were issued .During the meeting we were accused of getting funds from the British and Americans while neglecting new farmers Now the question is where do they expect us to get money to assist them when we are also struggling?" said Houge.
Houge accused new farmers in the area of starting veld fires in a bid to destroy their infrastructures.
"We are putting all our workers on stand-by for fire outbreaks all the time. There have been several attempts to sabotage our properties. If things continue like this we might be forced to seek redress from the courts because we have offer letters from the relevant ministry,' added Houge
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