Farmer attacked with machete by war veteran


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A farmer from Karoi Marshall Roper was attacked with a machete by a war veteran and other squatters who ordered him not to plant tobacco on the farm they had occupied.

Roper fired a pistol into the air in self-defence after collapsing on the ground. The war veterans then fled.

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo and ZANU-PF spokesman Nathan Shamuyarira both expressed regret at the incident and promised a full investigation.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 00HARARE5515, COMMERCIAL FARMER SEVERELY INJURED WITH

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE5515

2000-09-28 15:20

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

281520Z Sep 00

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7576

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05515 01 OF 02 281517Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   FRB-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00   SWCI-00   /009W

——————8AFEB1 281518Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7229

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 005515

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, AA/AFR – VNEWTON, AND A/AID – RMCCALL

 

USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL 09/28/2010

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05515 01 OF 02 281517Z

TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAGR PREL EAID ZI

SUBJECT: COMMERCIAL FARMER SEVERELY INJURED WITH

MACHETE.

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY DCM EARL IRVING FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND

(D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: A WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMER WAS ATTACKED

WITH A MACHETE BY A WAR VETERAN ON SEPTEMBER 26 AFTER

THE VETERAN TRIED TO STOP HIM FROM PLANTING TOBACCO.

THE FARMER SUFFERED A DEEP GASH ACROSS HIS FACE AND

NOSE, AND WAS RUSHED TO THE HOSPITAL, WHERE HE IS

RECOVERING FOLLOWING SURGERY. THIS INCIDENT IS

INDICATIVE OF RISING TENSIONS ON COMMERCIAL FARMS, WHERE

CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN OCCUPYING WAR VETERANS AND FARM

WORKERS HAVE BEEN TAKING PLACE. POLICE REACTION HAS

BEEN LESS THAN PROFESSIONAL IN MANY CASES, ALTHOUGH THE

FORCE NOW HAS ORDERS TO PREVENT FURTHER OCCUPATIONS.

THE COMING RAINY SEASON WILL BRING A NEW DIMENSION TO

FARM TENSION — BETWEEN WAR VETERANS AND THE GOVERNMENT,

WHICH TO DATE HAS FAILED TO DELIVER ON ITS PROMISE OF

LAND TO THIS ROUGH CONSTITUENCY. END SUMMARY.

 

———-

THE ATTACK

———-

 

2. (C) ACCORDING TO RICHARD AMYOT OF THE COMMERCIAL

FARMERS UNION (CFU), A WHITE COMMERCIAL FARMER WAS

BRUTALLY ATTACKED BY A WAR VETERAN WITH A MACHETE ON

SEPTEMBER 26. THE ATTACK OCCURRED IN KAROI, A FARMING

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05515 01 OF 02 281517Z

DISTRICT 200 KM NORTH OF HARARE, A REGION TORN BY LAND-

RELATED VIOLENCE SINCE EARLY THIS YEAR. AMYOT TOLD

ECONOFF THAT THE FARMER, MARSHALL ROPER, HAD BEGUN TO

PLANT TOBACCO ON HIS FARM, WHICH HAD BEEN OCCUPIED BY

SO-CALLED WAR VETERANS FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. TWELVE

SQUATTERS APPROACHED ROPER AND TOLD HIM HE COULD NOT

PLANT. A HEATED DISCUSSION ENSUED, AND A WAR VETERAN

WITH A MACHETE SWUNG AND STRUCK ROPER IN THE FACE,

CAUSING A DEEP GASH ACROSS HIS CHEEKS AND NOSE. ROPER

FIRED A PISTOL INTO THE AIR IN SELF-DEFENSE AFTER

COLLAPSING ON THE GROUND. THE WAR VETERANS THEN FLED.

AMYOT BELIEVES ROPER WOULD HAVE BEEN KILLED IF HE HAD

NOT BEEN ARMED. THE POLICE HAVE ARRESTED FOUR PEOPLE

INVOLVED IN THE INCIDENT, BUT THEY ARE REPORTEDLY STILL

LOOKING FOR ROPER’S ATTACKER. A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE

SEVERELY WOUNDED ROPER APPEARED ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE

SEPTEMBER 27 EDITION OF THE INDEPENDENT “DAILY NEWS”,

SPARKING WIDESPREAD DISGUST AND INDIGNATION IN HARARE.

MINISTER OF JUSTICE JONATHAN MOYO AND ZANU-PF SPOKESMAN

NATHAN SHAMUYARIRA BOTH EXPRESSED REGRET AT THE INCIDENT

AND PROMISED A FULL INVESTIGATION.

 

————————

NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT

————————

 

3. (C) AMYOT STATED THAT THE ATTACK ON ROPER WAS NOT AN

ISOLATED INCIDENT. ROPER AND MANY OTHER FARMERS IN

OTHER REGIONS HAVE RECEIVED NUMEROUS THREATS OVER THE

LAST WEEKS. THE PREVIOUS WEEK, A GROUP OF COMMERCIAL

FARMERS, FED UP WITH THE FARM INVASIONS, LACK OF POLICE

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 05515 01 OF 02 281517Z

INTERVENTION, AND A NEED TO BEGIN PLANTING, BLOCKED A

ROAD IN THE CHIVHU FARM DISTRICT IN CENTRAL ZIMBABWE

WITH A BARRIER TO KEEP WAR VETERANS AND OTHER FARM

INVADERS FROM INTERRUPTING THEIR PLANTING OPERATIONS.

THIS LED TO A CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE FARMERS AND

THEIR WORKERS ON ONE SIDE, AND, ON THE OTHER, WAR

VETERANS, INCLUDING, ACCORDING TO AMYOT, PLAINCLOTHES

POLICEMEN AND/OR AGENTS FROM THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

ORGANIZATION (CIO). THE WAR VETERANS SHOT AT THE

FARMERS WITH MILITARY-STYLE ASSAULT WEAPONS AND THE

FARMERS FIRED BACK, BUT NO ONE WAS HURT. POLICE

ARRESTED FOUR OF THE FARMERS AND SEVERAL FARM WORKERS

AND TOOK THEM TO THE LOCAL STATION. A GROUP OF

COMMERCIAL FARMERS AND THEIR FARM WORKERS, NUMBERING IN

THE THOUSANDS, CONVERGED ON THE STATION TO SUCCESSFULLY

DEMAND THE RELEASE OF THEIR COLLEAGUES AND TO PROTEST

THE GENERAL BREAKDOWN OF LAW AND ORDER IN THE AREA.

 

——————————————— –

CONFUSION REIGNS REGARDING THE ROLE OF THE ZRP

——————————————— –

 

4. (C) AMYOT SAID THAT POLICE REACTIONS TO INCIDENTS ON

THE FARMS HAVE VARIED FROM REGION TO REGION. SENIOR

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ7577

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 05515 02 OF 02 281517Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AGRE-00 AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00

DODE-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   VC-00   FRB-00

H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00

PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00     /009W

——————8AFEB7 281518Z /38

P 281520Z SEP 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7230

INFO NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC

USDOC WASHDC

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 005515

 

SIPDIS

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR GAYLE SMITH

USDOC FOR DHENKE-ROGERS

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SD – DWELLER, AFR/SA – CPALMA,

NNEWMAN, AA/AFR – VNEWTON, AND A/AID – RMCCALL

 

USTR FOR ROSA WHITAKER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL 09/28/2010

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 05515 02 OF 02 281517Z

TAGS: PGOV PHUM EAGR PREL EAID ZI

SUBJECT: COMMERCIAL FARMER SEVERELY INJURED WITH

MACHETE.

 

POLICE OFFICIALS, ACCORDING TO AMYOT, HAVE INFORMED THE

CFU THAT THEY WILL ACTIVELY PREVENT FURTHER OCCUPATIONS

AND DISRUPTIONS TO NORMAL FARMING OPERATIONS. POLICE

COMMANDERS IN SOME AREAS ARE ABIDING BY THIS ORDER

WHILE, IN OTHER REGIONS, THEY DO NOTHING TO STOP ILLEGAL

ACTIVITIES BY SQUATTERS OR, IN SOME CASES, EVEN ACTIVELY

PARTICIPATE IN THEM.

 

5. (C) COMMENT: VIOLENT CONFRONTATIONS BETWEEN FARMERS

AND WAR VETERANS MAY ESCALATE IN THE COMING WEEKS, AS

FARMERS TRY TO MOVE FORWARD WITH PLANTING BEFORE THE

ONSET OF RAINS IN NOVEMBER, AND WAR VETERANS TRY TO

BLOCK THEM. INFORMATION MINISTER MOYO AND ZANU-PF HAD

LITTLE CHOICE BUT TO CONDEMN THE ATTACK ON ROPER. THEY

REITERATED THAT NO NEW FARM OCCUPATIONS OR INTERFERENCE

WITH FARMING ACTIVITIES WOULD BE PERMITTED, HOWEVER,

THEY ALSO CONTINUED TO SUPPORT THE LEGITIMACY OF THE

OCCUPATIONS AS ON-GOING POLITICAL “DEMONSTRATIONS”. THE

GOZ HAS BEEN MAKING THESE PLEDGES FOR SOME TIME, BUT NEW

OCCUPATIONS AND ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES CONTINUE, RAISING

QUESTIONS ABOUT WHETHER THE GOZ IS LOSING CONTROL OVER

THE WAR VETERANS. THIS RELATIONSHIP BEARS CLOSE

MONITORING AS WELL, AS THE RAINS DRAW NEARER, AND THE

GOVERNMENT FINDS ITSELF WITH INCREASINGLY LESS ROOM TO

MANEUVER. END COMMENT.

 

MCDONALD

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 05515 02 OF 02 281517Z

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(81 VIEWS)

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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