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Mazoe Families Evicted to Pave Way for Mugabes

By Reporter in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean police on Monday [February 6, 2012] evicted some new farmers in Mazowe in Mashonaland Central province to pave way for the expansion of some farming activities for the country’s first family, the Mugabes.

Informed sources told Radio VOP that several families were evicted by armed police from their farming plots which they were allocated under the chaotic land reform programme. The new farmers and their families were evicted from Arnold farm and Mbuya Nehanda farm in Manzou area in Mazowe, about 20 kilometres outside Harare.

Police armed with truncheons and dogs evicted the new farmers and dumped them in Concession, in the same province, to allow President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace and their family to set up a game park and a cattle-breeding project at the two farms.

However, the new farmers are reportedly resisting the evictions and some of them indicated that they were not willing to relocate to Concession because of the poor soils at the farm where they are being moved to.

The families have also protested at the timing of the evictions, which come at a time when their crops are reaching ripening stage.

This is not the first time that the Mugabes have been accused of evicting new farmers from their plots. In 2009, some families were ordered to vacate a farm in the rich Mazowe farming area to make way for the expansion of the first family’s orphanage.

The Mugabes have been linked to several farms in the country that were grabbed from white commercial farmers during the chaotic land reform programme. In 2008, High Court Judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo lost a farm to the Mugabes, whose firm Gushungo Holdings seized a farm which had been occupied by the former university lecturer.

Story published on February 7, 2012 by Radio VOP.

This investigative report was produced under the Strengthening Media Reform and Civil Society Transition in Zimbabwe project, a partnership between IWPR, the Humanitarian Information Facilitation Centre and the Media Centre in Harare.

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