The last white farmers of Zimbabwe....
What a tragedy....
FOR Ray Finaughty, the dream of farming Africa’s rich soil has ended as the campaign to drive Zimbabwe’s white farmers from their land enters its final stage.
One by one the last white farmers are being beaten into submission. Four more had their farms seized by marauding gangs last week.
“They do not want us whites,” one farmer said.
Finaughty, 43, will never forget how his world came crashing down. One moment at his Manda farm there was stillness. Then came a burst of noise and confusion. A screaming, drunken mob hammered at the gates.
It was the climax of a two-year eviction campaign against him. He had fought step by step in the courts. Their judgments in his favour were all ignored. With no respect for the rule of law in Zimbabwe, he finally lost the battle.
Armed with spears and sticks, a mob threatened him and his wife, Loraine, by driving a tractor against the gate of their home. “We’re going to kill you,” they said. The family were given 10 minutes to pack their life’s belongings.
It was not the first attack that Finaughty had weathered. In one savage beating his attackers suggested breaking his legs as he lay injured in a field. “Leave him. He’s dead,” he heard one of them say.
Finaughty crawled away and saved himself. He had four broken ribs and concussion.
Another time, acting in self-defence, he had to shoot dead an armed robber who broke into his farmhouse. The police were sympathetic and took no action. But they treated the seizure of his farm differently.
“This is political. It’s a hot potato. We can’t get involved,” said Vengisai, the chief inspector, when Finaughty contacted his office.
So the Finaughty family drove away from the farm they loved. Soon, they believe, much of the land they had cultivated will be derelict.
Behind them they have left 90 loyal workers and their families, some 400 people in all. They have been forced to abandon 6,000 chickens, 190 head of cattle and a valuable tobacco crop, all of which could be lost.