Starving Zimbabwean Villagers Destroy 40-Acre Maize Field.

Starving villagers like the ones receiving handouts here destroyed 40acres of maize crop in a feud over the pasture fields

This latest news from Zimbabwe would be funny if it were not so tragic.

Apparently, villagers in the Uzumba rural areas of Zimbabwe have destroyed 40 acres of maize (corn) crop by driving cattle into the fields and letting them eat up the staple cereal.

Uzumba, as most Zimbabwe will instantly recognise, is Mugabe's pride and joy, the area in the whole of Zimbabwe that gives him by far the most votes in every single election. Previously known as Uzumba-Marambapfungwe, the area was split in 2007 by Mugabe's government to create three constituencies of Uzumba and Maramba and Pfungwe in his most glaring and self-serving act gerrymandering.

This was in an effort by Mugabe to create more seats in parliament for his party. And sure enough, he won the areas adding three seats where he would previously have had only one.

Anyway, these ZANU PF villagers, from the village of Mbengeni in the area, were pissed off that their 40 neighbours from Nhakiwa village had each been given one acre fields in what the Mbengenis considered their pastures.

Nhakiwa villagers had been given free seed and fertiliser under a government/army initiative known as Operation Maguta (Operation Bountiful).The Mbengeni villagers gave their Nhakiwa neighbours two weeks to uproot their crops and buzz off from what they considered their pasture fields.

Of course, with the shortage of seed and fertiliser in Zimbabwe and the season so advanced, the Nhakiwas could not comply and they stayed put.

Last week, the Mbengeni villagers decided to make good on their threat and drove their cattle into these fields, destroying forty acres of their neghbours' cereal as well as groundnut crops.

It was not just a once off. The villagers are still driving their cattle into the fields everyday and, even when a news crew visited the area, they did not back off. The news crew from the state newspaper, The Herald, say they witnessed the cattle grazing peaceful on the maize and groundnut crop as the helpless Nhakiwas looked on dejectedly.

The culprits were reported to the police, arrested and then imemdiately released. A Mr Kaukonde, who saw his 25kg of maize seed and bag of fertiliser go to waste as the cattle grazed in his field, says he does not understand why they were released.

Another villager, Tizai Mudarika, says the cattle were released into his own field just after he had applied fertiliser.

Mr Chidzvondo had his hut burnt down by the Mbengeni villagers in an effort to get the Nhakiwas to leave the "pastures".

A Mr Bhanditi (meaning Bandit), from Mbengeni, who is one of the culprits, was in uncompromising mood, "They settled in our grazing fields," he said, "They should leave within the two weeks."

It is a sign of mentality of impunity amongst ZANU PF supporters, this. The aggrieved villagers say, after the police had released the culprits, they went and reported the matter to "local political leadership", meaning ZANU PF officials. "But nothing has been done."

It is difficult to think these are starving villagers who are asking for handouts from the world, isn't it. Deliberately destroying a field of crops, no matter how strong your case to justify this, has always been a no-no in rural Zimbabwe and heavy fines were traditionally levied on the offenders

Now, however, it appears that it is not the local chiefs in charge, but local ZANU PF politicians and if the offender is a known staunch ZANU PF supporter, they can get away with literally anything.

The story, ironically, is reported in yesterday's edition of the government newspaper The Herald.

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  1. This is just horrendous. From an outsider's perspective, it really seems like Zanu PF supporters are hellbent on destroying their country. Wasting food is a moral crime anywhere, but in Zimbabwe... it just boggles the mind!

  2. Wasting food is a moral crime anywhere in the world, but in Zimbabwe it just boggles the mind. I hope those Zanu PF supporters come to understand what they have done.


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