SA farmer locked out in Zim
A South African commercial flower grower has been locked out of his Chegutu farm in Zimbabwe by a group of youths who have barricaded his gate.
Dirk Visagie and his wife Heidi, of Wantage Farm, in Chegutu, about 100km south-west of the capital, Harare, yesterday said they blamed a local Zanu-PF strongman, Thomas Shoko Mudavanhu, for the blockade.
They said he had been trying to take over their flower and tomato farm for months.
"Our crops are nearly ready, that is why they want our farm," said Heidi.
Mudavanhu could not be contacted yesterday.
Visagie said he bought his 42ha farm from the Zimbabwe government in 2001 and had since secured court papers protecting the land from a takeover by Mudavanhu.
"I had two temporary interdicts against Mudavanhu and a final interdict, but that has not stopped him," said Visagie.
He said holding on to his legally purchased farm was costing him a fortune and that the lawyers' fees were "financially straining".
Police allegedly refused to help him, instead referring him to the ministry of lands and agriculture.