Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Philimon Bulawayo

Harare - A group of Zanu-PF loyalists has invaded the farm of Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Union (Zapu) leader Dumiso Dabengwa twice in the last two weeks.

The invaders threatened to kill him, Dabengwa told the Bulawayo newspaper Southern Eye.

“I am prepared to go to war against those people who have occupied my farm. I will defend my rights. If there are casualties during the fight so be it. And if I am a casualty in the process so be it,” Dabengwa told the newspaper on Wednesday.

Dabengwa was the former intelligence chief for the Zimbabwe African Peoples’ Revolutionary Army (ZPRA), under the leadership of the late Joshua Nkomo. It was the military wing of Zapu, which merged with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and then later separated.

Dabengwa said Zanu-PF supporters were damaging property on the farm and chopping hardwood trees. He had reported this to the Environmental Management Agency.

“This is my farm, which I bought during the willing buyer, willing seller period. This is my own sweat,” he said.

Several black farm owners who supported the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party had their farms taken from them by Zanu-PF supporters after land invasions began in 2000.

Invaders usually take white-owned farms and only a few hundred white farmers are now left on small portions of their original land.

Ray Dhlukhuhla, deputy chief secretary in the president’s office, forced cattleman David Connolly’s beef herd off his farm last week.

Connolly won a High Court order which allows him to remain on Centenary Farm, Figtree, but Dhlukhuhla says he will not respect the law because white people cannot own rural land in Zimbabwe.

Connolly is one of the most productive milk producers left in Zimbabwe. The police have not assisted him yet and he has been told he will lose all his equipment and personal possessions on the farm if he does not quit by the weekend.

Independent Foreign Service