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Nairobi, Kenya
I an ex member of both 7 and 8 Squadron's of the Rhodesian war spending most of my operational time on Seven Squadron as a K Car gunner. I was credited for shooting down a fixed wing aircraft from a K Car on the 9 August 1979. This blog is from articles for research on a book which I HAVE HANDED THIS MANUSCRIPT OVER TO MIMI CAWOOD WHO WILL BE HANDLING THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK OF WHICH THERE WILL BE VERY LIMITED COPIES AVAILABLE Contact her on yebomimi@gmail.com The latest news is that the Editing is now done and we can expect to start sales and deliveries by the end of April 2011

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A STORY OF A FARM INVASION

JUSTICE FOR AGRICULTURE - INCIDENT REPORT COMMUNIQUE, Dated 17 May 2008>> Email: jag@mango.zw : justiceforagriculture@zol.co.zw>> JAG Hotlines: +263 (011) 610 073, +263 (04) 799 410. If you are in > trouble> or need advice, please don't hesitate to contact us - we're here to help!> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------> ------------------>> ANDREW PAUL ROSSLYN STIDOLPH state that:>> 1. I am citizen and permanent resident of Zimbabwe. My Zimbabwe national> registration number is 24- 042486L - 00.>> 2. The facts hereunder are true and correct according to the best my> knowledge and belief.>> 3. I am the registered owner of the certain piece of land called Grand> Parade Estate A, measuring 2270,4507 hectares in the district of Urungwe> (Hurungwe) commonly known as Grand Parade.>> 4. The property in question purports to have been compulsorily acquired by> Government through the expedient of Gazetted notices.>> 5. It becomes necessary to outline recent developments leading to my> unlawful eviction from the property details of which are set out below.> ATTEMPTED SPOLIATION, AND SPOLIATION>> 6. At around 06.30 am on 7 May 2008, against our will, and contrary to the> laws of Zimbabwe, and in contempt of a Karoi magistrate's court order bail> conditions, my wife Sheila and I were forcibly removed from our home at> Grand Parade farm in Karoi North. There were approximately nine armed> soldiers who came to the house to force my wife and I out at the command > of,> or at the instance of, Major Gen. Nick Dube of ZNA Defence Headquarters> Harare, and who ordinarily resides at Glen Lorne district of Harare, and > who> claims to be a beneficiary of the remaining portion of Grand Parade that I> was previously occupying with my wife and two sons. At the time this> incident took place my wife and I were resident in our homestead. Most of> the soldiers were in uniform. I recognized Cpl Shoko and soldiers known to> me as Chimsimbe, Chibatamoto, Jingura and Chewore. Some were armed with AK> rifles, whilst others carried metal pipes, or sticks and one, Sgt Gange, > had> a swagger stick.>> 7. By way of general background:> Soldiers have been resident at Grand Parade since they seized the farm on> behalf of Major Gen N M Dube and his wife Colonel Gertrude Dube, on 25> September 2007. The Major General had been given an offer letter for the> same portion of land already allocated or promised to me by the acquiring> authority consequent to the fact that I was an acknowledged compliance> farmer having given up more than two thirds of the farm and to the fact > that> I had "shared" the farm in harmony with A1 settlers.>> 8. I confirm that I was called to the Karoi magistrates to answer charges > of> allegedly contravening a section of the Gazetted Land (Consequential> Provisions) Act Cap 20:28 in late 2007. Pursuant to my initial appearance > on> remand I had denied the charge of unlawful occupation and indicated that I> wished to contest this issue at my 'trial'.>> 9. The magistrate dealing with my initial appearance stated - as a > condition> of bail - and in writing - that I should remain on the farm pending the> finalization of the alleged criminal matter. I subsequently appeared on> periodic remand and confirm that a provisional date for the commencement > of> my trial was set for the 14 May 2008 at the Karoi Magistrates court.>> 10. In regard to my tenancy, I also had an agreement with the Major > General,> witnessed in chambers by Judge Uchena and Mrs Mwatse of Ministry of Lands> that I and my wife were to remain in our house - pending finalisation of> proceedings and the issue of an eviction order by a competent court - and> that we be allowed to continue with our registered dairy operations.>> 11. I confirm that the commercial farming activities carried out on Grand> Parade constituted the sole source of livelihood. Apart from milk to the> local community, my wife and I supply dairy products - butter and cheese -> to supermarkets in Harare.> My son James was farming wheat, maize and tobacco on Grand Parade - that > is> until he was of a sudden barred from entering the farm by Dube's soldiers > in> September 2007.>> Since that date his tobacco crop and equipment and material have been> summarily commandeered and taken over without recourse to the due process > of> law and payment of compensation. The resultant loss runs to trillions of> Zimbabwe dollars.>> 12. There was a prior attempted eviction that took place on Monday 14 > April> 2008. On this occasion Cpl. Shoko called me to the house gate to the main> homestead. He told me that Tuesday 15 was to be my last day in our house;> that I was to pack my things and summon transport for my furniture, pigs,> dairy cows, and cattle. I refused.> I said I had permission to remain on the farm and that my case was sub> judice because I was awaiting a trial date at court, and that it was part > of> my bail conditions that I remain on the farm. I also informed him that I > had> obtained interim relief from the SADC Tribunal ruling, filed of record in> Namibia under SADCT 04/08.>> I displayed to Cpl Shoko some relevant papers. He said he was not > interested> in such things; he and his men just followed orders. To this end, at an> earlier time, my wife had asked the Major Gen why he was behaving above > the> law - did he not respect the laws of the land. His response was that 'he > was> army,' and it did not apply to him.>> 13. Re SADC, I confirm that I - along with other affected farmers - had> appealed to the SADC Tribunal to obtain relief from the Government of> Zimbabwe who had threatened our eviction; we get no fair justice from> Zimbabwe's Higher Courts.>> We sought to interdict the Government from directly or indirectly > attending> to our eviction from our properties before the merits of the Mike Campbell> case - filed of record under SADCT 2/2007 to which interim relief had also> been obtained - had been completed. In that regard Campbell and the> interveners assert that varying SADC Treaty and Protocol rights have been > or> stand to be infringed.>> 14. Interim relief was granted by the SADC Tribunal. The ruling to my> application was handed down in open court in Windhoek on 28 March 2008 by> H.E. Justice Dr Luis Antonio Mondlane (President).>> 15. I am advised and accept that Government has signed the Treaty and> relevant Protocols. The Treaty was signed by President R G Mugabe in 1992> and the Treaty was ratified by Parliament.>> 16. I am also advised and accept that Government has expressly or by> implication submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. It has> done so by appearing in Windhoek on two occasions and by reason that it > has> filed papers in that court. Additionally, Government's legal > representatives> expressly undertook to abide by and honour the decisions of the Tribunal -> whether of an interim or final nature.>> 17. My forced eviction - promoted or acquiesced in by Government - and the> determination by the State to continue with my criminal prosecution in the> Karoi Magistrate's Court offends the order of the Tribunal and runs > counter> to the undertakings made by Government through its legal representatives.>> 18. Returning to the background details:> An initial attempt to evict my wife and I took place on Wednesday 16 April> 2008. On this occasion I was called to the gate to the main homestead > where> I was residing with my wife by Cpl Shoko and five other soldiers who were> standing there with him. Most of them were in full army uniform and had in> their possession either AK rifles or sticks.> Cpl Shoko told me since I had not heeded his prior instructions that he > was> taking over the house, would throw out my things and that we must 'pack > and> go'.>> I refused. Despite efforts of my wife and I to stop entry, the soldiers> managed to force open the gate.>> My wife Sheila sustained slight bruising to her hands when she was> attempting to prevent access of the soldiers into our home.>> With the soldiers coming behind us we retreated to the house.>> We have four large dogs. The soldiers said they would shoot our dogs.> We managed to get the dogs in a bedroom and locked ourselves inside the> house.>> The soldiers gathered round the back kitchen door and tried to enter.> I went to the radio to call for help and told my son James to call the> police.>> The soldiers brought hosepipes and started putting water under the doors> into the house in order to try to flood us out.>> My wife said we were not moving.>> While I was on the radio she told the soldiers it was best that they shoot> her dead and get the matter over with for only her dead body would be> leaving her home, and in a box. They finally retreated back to the tobacco> barn area.>> 19. The Karoi police, who had promised to come immediately, never came.>> Inspector Chaguta, officer-in-charge of Karoi ZRP had been informed of the> incident at 0730am.>> The whole day his men failed to attend our call for help; even after 24> hours, they still had not come.>> 20. On May 5 Cpl Shoko sent another message to the effect that we had two> days notice to get out of our home.>> I phoned the Commercial Farmers Union.>> They asked me to phone Nelson Samkange, Governor of Mash West Province.>> 21. I phoned the Governor. He asked me if I had a court order. I said yes.> He then said that I should just contact the police and he stated that > 'they> will protect you'.>> I later wrote a formal letter to Inspector Chaguta requesting his> protection.> I sent another letter to Supt. Jiri at ZRP Dispol office Karoi, and yet> another to Assistant Commissioner Chihuri at Propol Police, in Chinhoyi. I> informed all of them of the unlawful threats of the soldiers and requested> their help. I advised that if they did not come to our aid when called > upon,> I would hold the Commissioner responsible for any loss of life, injury or> damage to our property.>> No police ever came to see me, and the letters have not been responded to.>> 22. The next attempt was made by the same group of soldiers, plus three> others, on 7th May 2008. On this occasion nine soldiers invaded the house> with sticks, iron bars, some holding AK rifles.>> At 0700 they refused our workers and housemaids to come to work.> They then patrolled round the house intimidating us.>> We managed to take some photos of them outside of the kitchen.>> 23. My wife Sheila who is aged 65 years was very stressed.> She has cancer and an artificial hip and high blood pressure. I was> concerned for her blood pressure and health.>> Finally the soldiers made entry into our house by forcing the kitchen > door.>> They commenced throwing out our property.>> My wife and I could do nothing to stop them.>> They threw all our belongings out.>> Once they had thrown everything out, they took occupation in the main> lounge.>> They kept only some chairs and our stereo there to play loud music with > our> CDs.>> Some drank beer taken from our pantry.>> 24. We managed to radio for help.>> My second son Alex went to see Inspector Chaguta at ZR police.> He promised to send someone, but of course they never came.> We had to sit outside with our belongings, but it was by then scattered> everywhere and I could not look after it. My wife and I were numb, > exhausted> and quite traumatised by this time. None of our employees were allowed in > to> help us.>> 25. Our family arranged for lorries to come, but they came late because of > a> diesel shortage. The first lorry came at sunset, at about 6pm. The loading> was not completed until around 11pm that night.> We then left the farm in our car. The soldiers had in the interim taken up> occupation inside my residence.>> 26. The next day when we unloaded the trucks that had been hastily loaded,> we found many things missing.>> Stolen was a Nikon camera, DVD, Nokia cell phone, brown safari boots, six> pair shoes, pair of 'Bose' speakers, most of our towels and many of my> wife's personal clothing including imported bras, a breast prosthesis and> underwear. The general self-help and theft is attributable to the army> personnel sent to Grand Parade to evict us.> Additionally, large quantities of property were - through force of> circumstance - left behind. This includes without in any way attempting to> be exhaustive - a 100 KVA Kohler mobile generator on wheels, contents of > our> farm office - filing cabinets, farm computer, printer, company and farm> records etc - contents of Chubb walk-in safe and contents, 10 new bicycles> for staff and numerous stock such as filters, oils, batteries, new tyres,> rope, workshop tools, fertiliser and numerous farm materials the latter of> which in fact are owned by my son James who has been prevented access to> remove the same since September of last year. His property also includes> many tractors and farm equipment and material and much irrigation > equipment> including two Valley centre pivots. The cumulative value of these items > runs> to trillions of Zimbabwe dollars>> 27. I confirm that the following day we were "permitted" to collect > certain> remaining items such as pots and plants and some remaining livestock. Some> pigs remained.> FURTHER BACKGROUND DETAILS:>> 28. On 25 September 2007 Major Gen. N.M. Dube came with his soldiers to> seize our compliance portion of the property.>> 29. In addition he seized all of my sons James and Alex's equipment that> include two centre pivots for irrigation, five tractors, much valuable > farm> equipment and materials, and his soldiers at a boom gate prevented my sons> from entering the farm.>> He also seized James' tobacco crop and his 10 tonne sugar bean crop> harvested by James in July of 2007, a crop that had been kept in his shed > on> behalf of Prime Seeds Company for seed, and to be delivered to Msasa > Harare> by December 2007. Prime Seeds sent a lorry to collect this on 1 October> 2007, but the soldiers refused it and sent him away empty. Other materials> were seized and have subsequently been used and/or stolen, such as farm> chemicals, plus minus 1000 bags fertilizer, two motor-bikes, all James'> workshop equipment and tools, oils, tyres, batteries, filters, his office> computer and printer, James' farm safe, filing cabinet, files, etc.>> 30. This ongoing theft and confiscation has been repeatedly drawn to the > ZRP> police and to Governments attention and protested. Again, without > pretending> to exhaust my efforts and that of my son, I wrote three times to the> Permanent Secretary of Lands, Ms Tsvakwi for her to authorise the> repossession of my son James farm equipment and materials. She has not> responded to the complaints at all.>> We supplied Ms Tsvakwi - the Permanent Secretary for Lands - with proof > that> my sons are still farming. They do so on land in addition to Grand Parade> farm that they lease. The equipment on Grand Parade was and still is > needed> by my sons for their continued farming operations and to earn a > livelihood.> Consequently the equipment so confiscated and currently been used without> the consent of my sons James and Alex is not 'idle equipment'.>> Ms Tsvakwi has not had the courtesy to reply.>> She would seem to us to be complicit with Major Gen Nick Dube in the theft> or unauthorised use of our equipment.> There has been no valid acquisition order, no agreement, no inventory, no> valuation, no handover, no receipt, and no compensation for this property.>> 31. My two sons and I have lost everything - not only our agreed > compliance> portion of farm, but now all of our equipment and materials - the results > of> a life's work, savings and investment.>> 32. My wife and I are in our sixties. We have nowhere to go and have no> savings. Practically everything had been invested in the farm, its> infrastructure and its assets. We built a large 3 km dam for irrigation of> 4000ml capacity with loans from the bank that took us some ten years to > pay> off. We have enjoyed minimal benefit from this investment.>> 33. My son James used to grow 150 ha wheat and was one of the districts'> volume growers. This is no more. Because of human greed (Nick Dube and his> 'agent' Temba Mliswa), our businesses at Grand Parade of tobacco, maize,> wheat, cattle, pigs, dairy, have been needlessly destroyed. Harare city > with> its current chronic food shortages will no longer receive our butter. Some> 150 workers are now unemployed.>> Meantime Gen Dube to date employs only 10 people.>> Since we no longer have a farm, our dairy products are no longer going to> Harare. The dairy cows will be killed for meat. I now have no option but > to> look for some kind of job. I have no house in Harare or elsewhere, and my> local pension is now worthless.>> 34. While we for our part have cooperated, in our opinion the Zimbabwe> Government has been most unfair to us. Senator R. Maramahoko, the Deputy> Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vice President J. Msika and his Director Mr> Madamombe, all know the truth of this unfairness and of our general> circumstances.>> We have given up two farms previously for Land Reform - in 1980 and in > 1984.>> We moved to Grand Parade Farm in Karoi in 1984.> From 2001, when the fast track Land Reform started, we voluntarily > downsized> the farm three times - sharing with A1 settlers as compliance farmers,> ending up with only 30% of the original farm.>> 35. Then in 2004 I was unfairly charged with unlawful occupation of Grand> Parade in breach of the then section 9 of the Land Acquisition Act Cap > 20:10> which was then in place. I denied those charges.> I was summoned to court.>> Evidence on Government policy about compliance farmers was given at court > by> then Perm Sec of Lands, Simon Pazvakavambwa. As a result of his evidence -> concerning Government's compliance policy - I was acquitted by the> magistrate.>> 36. Shortly after this acquittal my two sons and I were left with 650 ha > as> 'compliance farmers and we resumed share-farming in harmony with the> resident A1 settlers.>> 37. In early 2006 Temba Mliswa, nephew of Minister Mutasa, used his> influence with his uncle to get our compliance portion allocated to Major> Gen N.M. Dube.>> The Major General was given an offer letter.>> 38. We protested this fact and continued farming.>> 39 Many local leaders have supported our case.>> 40. In 2007 our name appeared on the list of the 'Cooksey Hall Resolution'> where a list of certain white farmers of Mash West Province was produced > and> who were recommended to stay on their land.>> That document was subsequently endorsed by Vice President J. Msika, Dr N,> Shamuyarira, Secretary for Information of ZANU-PF and the Minister of > Policy> Implementation Webster Shamu. I understand that it was endorsed by the> Politburo and Presidium, but it appears that it was opposed by Minister> Mutasa of Lands.>> 41. Nonetheless, on the strength of this resolution, we remained farming. > We> moved nothing off the farm up to the time of our forced eviction.>> 42. We did not leave the farm of our own free will.>> We have been unlawfully forced off by armed uniformed soldiers of the > ZNA -> who are effectively employees/agents of the Government - albeit used by> Major General Nick Dube for his private purposes.>> 43. Not only ourselves but our approximately 150 workers who are employed > by> my two sons and myself, are nearly all displaced. I am concerned for > their> welfare. They too are SADC citizens and are going to suffer chronic> hardships in the current economic climate.>> 44. I contend that the action conducted against the Stidolph family as> citizens of this country, and citizens of SADC, is contrary to the > domestic> law of this country as well as contrary to international law and > conventions> including the SADC Treaty.>> Dated at Harare this 10 day of May 2008.>> ANDREW PAUL ROSSLYN STIDOLPH>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------> ------------------>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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I welcome comments from everyone on my book Choppertech.
I am interested especially on hearing from former ZANLA and ZIPRA combatants who also have thier story to tell.