Campbell farmhouse razed to the ground

2009-09-02 14:19

ARSONISTS have reduced Mike and Angela Campbell’s Mount Carmel Farm homestead in Chegutu, Zimbabwe, to ashes as political violence against remaining white farmers goes unabated.

The latest development yesterday comes hardly three days after the same "thugs" burnt down neighbouring farmer Ben Freeth’s farmhouse on Sunday.

The expansive Mount Carmel Farm in Chegutu, west of Harare is owned by Freeth’s in-laws Mike and Angela Campbell. The incessant harassment of the remaining white farmers continues unabated despite the formation of the unity government six months ago.

Mount Carmel Farm is the famous farm which was visited by leader of a smaller MDC faction Arthur Mutambara in March this year when self-acclaimed war veterans tried to forcefully evict the 76-year old Mike and Angela from it. Mutambara is the deputy prime minister in the unity government.

Yesterday morning, the same veterans returned and razed the once palatial homestead to ashes only a few days after the same alleged perpetrators reduced Freeth’s farmhouse to rubble.

Breaking the news yesterday in Johannesburg, Freeth said both the Campbells and his wife who had sought refuge at her parents’ house, were left without shelter and pondering life without a roof over their head.

Both the Campbells and Freeths have endured some of the worst attacks on their farms since the renewed offensive against the commercial farming community began in earnest this year.

Freeth, who broke down when delivering the Campbell news, said the farmhouse, the homes of all the remaining workers and on-site factory for the farm produce were also burnt to ashes.

“I don’t know what to do; they burn down my in-laws’ house on the same day the SADC summit is starting in Kinshasa (DRC). The truth is this unity government has totally failed and Zanu (PF) has even had the audacity of ignoring the SADC tribunal ruling,” said tearful Freeth in Johannesburg yesterday.

On Saturday, a 75-year-old Free State born Sophie Hart was murdered in Kadoma, 150km from Harare when her husband Jan had gone to watch rugby at a neighbour’s house.

A spokesperson for MDC yesterday said his party was seriously considering pulling out of the unity government if Zanu (PF) persisted with breaching rules of the Global Political Agreement.

Spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the killing of Hart and burning down of Freeth and Campbell farmhouses was one of the several ‘total impunity’ being perpetrated by the rogue Zanu (PF) thugs and this had to stop.

Our leader (Morgan Tsvangirai) has given the forthcoming SADC summit the last chance to rein in Zanu (PF), failure of which MDC would have little option but to quit the coalition government,” he said. - Media24 Africa

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