Mike Campbell's Farmhouse Burned - 2nd House Destroyed In A Week
Mike and Angela Campbell (Angela Campbell seen above after a beating meted out by Mugabe's thugs) have now had their own farmhouse burned to the ground, at the very same farm where the home of their daughter and son-in-law, Ben Freeth, was burned down to the ground over the weekend. I reported on it yesterday, with a picture of the burning house. Workers' homes were also destroyed. So not only is the ZANU PF Publicity Secretary after the farm but he is also determined to add to Zimbabwe's higher-than-90% unemployment rate by rendering the Mount Carmel Farm workers jobless. Things are about to get very hairy for the Campbells and Freeths and it is now almost certain that their very lives are in grave and immediate danger
Harare, Zimbabwe, 02 September 2009
No, this is not a repeat of my story yesterday about the burning of Ben Freeth's farmhouse at Mount Carmel Farm in Chegutu.
Mike Campbell's farmhouse, on the same farm as the burnt house of his son-in-law Ben Freeth, was completely destroyed this morning (that's the morning of 2 September 2009) by another fire.
The State media in Zimbabwe have completely ignored the burning of the Freeth home, which happened over the weekend and they also have not said anything about the extraordinary occurrence this morning.
As I reported yesterday, Ben Freeth said he had only managed to retrieve his computer and his family's passports. They were left, he said, "with only the clothes on our backs".
This morning, comes this news.
Yes, the ZANU PF invaders are still on the farm and it is certain that they started the blazes to consume the houses of these two families in order to get them to leave the farm and allow Nathan Shamuyarira, the ZANU PF Secretary for Publicity, to take it over.
This is of course, coming as it emerged yesterday that the Zimbabwe government has written to the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek withdrawing from that body and informing it that any decisions it has taken or may take in future are "null and void" when it comes to Zimbabwe.
The SADC Tribunal had ruled that the Freeths, Campbells and 78 other farmers could stay on their farms because Mugabe's acquisition of their farms was not legal.
It is understood that the Campbells no longer lived in the house that was burned, having been forced to abandon it by the invaders. The home, however, still contained all the property that they have worked all their lives to accumulate and this was totally consumed by the fire.
The besieged farmers can not now go back to the Tribunal because Mugabe has closed off that avenue.
They can not run to the police. In fact when they were contacted, the police in the area immediately dismissed the incidents as "results of uncontrollable veld fires. We urge the public not to indiscriminately burn grass."!!
Yes, there are veld fires that are sometimes deliberately started this time of the year in the rural areas as peasant farmers prepare for the tilling of lands which should start around October/November.
But to have these fires only on one farm, and the one that a ZANU PF big wig is trying to take by force from its owners?
Is that not too much of a coincidence?
With their irrigation pipes and pumps, tractors and other equipment already stolen, the Campbells and the Freeths will now have to move off while they try to rebuild.
The moment they move off the property, it is doubtful that they will be allowed back onto it.
Already, there is reliable information that Shamuyarira is in the process of shipping scores of "guards" to the area. They have all been given AK 47s and pistols with which to guard the farm once the owners have gone.
All this is based on an "offer letter" from Mugabe given to Shamuyarira for Mount Carmel farm.
Several people have urged the Freeths to move off and cut their losses, to emigrate with their small children instead of staring down Mugabe's gangs, but they have resisted.
Perhaps they should give serious thought to that now.
The main opposition in Zimbabwe, the MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has now identified with Mugabe on the land issue and says, just as he does, that the new invasions are exaggerated and that the Freeths and others should leave because the farms are no longer their own.
With no political force speaking up on their behalf, it is certain that the farmers are now on their own.
And that is a dangerous situation to be in.
We know for a fact that Mugabe and his people, as they now vow to finish the land reform process "once and for all" are upping the ante and will not hesitate at all to kill anyone who stands in their way.
The Freeths and the elderly Campbells are in mortal danger, there is no doubt about that. But they continue to hold on.