We are gatvol of Zim’s lawlessness – SA envoy

2011-10-15 17:40

In the most public telling-off that Zimbabwe has ever received from its neighbour, the intelligence chief-turned-ambassador said South Africa was gatvol of lawlessness in the neighbouring country.

Zimbabwean news outlets reported on Friday that South African ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, told his host government the land reform programme had worsened relations between the countries as lawless mobs continued evicting South African farmers, defying a bilateral investment protection treaty.

A senior government official in South Africa told City Press Mavimbela’s views were supported by the South African government.

Following a meeting with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Mavimbela complained about land invasions and black empowerment.

Some South African farmers were left destitute after being evicted by militants loyal to President Robert Mugabe.

The militants, said Mavimbela, appeared to enjoy immunity from the law. Such lawlessness, he said, was affecting South Africa’s appetite to invest in Zimbabwe.

Mavimbela said the continued attacks were in violation of a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement signed in 2009.

“We have a number of South African farmers who were evicted from their farms recently. We believe that the process that was followed is not anything that we can be proud of,” said Mavimbela.

Mavimbela blasted the police for failing to stop farm invasions, even in circumstances where evidence of violation was blatant.

“There are instances where people just walk onto the farm and tell the farmer they are taking over the farm without producing any documents to show they are entitled to it.”

“We have raised these issues with the police but in some instances they are there and say we can’t intervene. We have been told not to intervene,” said Mavimbela.

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