Post-Election Retribution on Farms report - 2008

LAND, RETRIBUTION AND ELECTIONS

Post election Violence on Zimbabwe’s Remaining Farms

Report prepared by the Justice for Agriculture Trust (JAG)

And the Research and Advocacy Unit (RAU)

May 2008

 

Introduction

On March 29, 2008 the Zimbabwean people voted ZANU PF out of power.  Today, for the first time in its 28-year rule, ZANU PF no longer has a parliamentary majority, despite a concerted election campaign of vote-buying, electoral roll tampering, voter intimidation and general use of brute force.  At the time of writing this report, a full month after the harmonised elections, the results of the presidential election have only just been released and the illegal recounting of several House of Assembly constituencies has brought ZANU PF no relief.

The last time ZANU PF officially lost a national vote was in 2000, when the people voted ‘no’ in a referendum for a constitution which amongst other things would have extended the executive powers of the President.  Within a few days of that referendum defeat the first of the now infamous commercial farm invasions had begun, and these soon turned into a massive and systematic nation-wide campaign to intimidate a sizeable but vulnerable section of the population into support for the ruling party.  All of this is described in some detail in the Justice for Agriculture (JAG) and General Agriculture and Plantation Workers’ Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ) report “Destruction of Zimbabwe’s Backbone Industry in Pursuit of Political Power” to which this report should be considered an addendum. 

It should come then as no surprise that the immediate aftermath of ZANU PF’s 2008 election defeat should include drastic consequences for the few remaining commercial farmers and their workers.  Having maintained a slow erosion of the remaining commercial farms for the last few years, the Government of Zimbabwe has once again heightened its assault on these, its least wanted of citizens.  The scale of this recent backlash has remained hidden from view until now. 

It is the aim of this report to make the current surge in invasions and human rights violations on the farms visible or what it is:  violent, widespread and systematic.  At least one-third of the remaining commercial farmers have reported major disturbances in the last three weeks…..

To read the full report:

http://www.kubatana.net/docs/agric/jag_idasa_post_elec_viol_farms_080508.pdf

To read the report by JAG and GAPWUZ:  “Destruction of Zimbabwe’s Backbone Industry in Pursuit of Political Power”:

http://www.kubatana.net/docs/agric/jag_gapwuz_destruction_agric_080508.pdf