White farmers in Zimbabwe are still being subjected to vicious attacks and harassment by the militia, despite Robert Mugabe being sworn in as president following last Friday’s (27 June) rigged election.
In what was probably the worst incident either side of the election, three farmers were abducted on Sunday (29 June) and seriously assaulted by a group led by well-known war veteran, Gilbert Mayo.
Mike (75) and Angela Campbell (66), who farm at Mount Carmel near Chegutu to the south-west of Harare, and their son-in-law Ben Freeth were taken at gun point by a mob of about 40 Zanu PF supporters at about 3.00pm.
There were initially beaten with sticks in their farmyard, before being tied up and bundled into the back of their own Prado truck.
“When we were lying trussed up outside our garage, one of them came up and piddled all over my head,” said Angela. “After that, they pulled me down onto the ground and then pulled me by the hair. I just saw a huge bunch of hair in his hands.”
Ben says he was tied up so tightly he lost all feeling in his hands. “I was pretty sure that we were all going to be killed.”
The testimony, given to a family friend on Monday and sent to Farmers Weekly, described how the three were then driven at speed away from their farm, the two men bouncing around in the back of the pickup, Angela sitting in the back passenger seat.
At this point, her son Bruce arrived and tried to follow the convoy. But he was shot at repeatedly, with two bullets piercing his windscreen and another lodging itself in the headrest.
According to the white farmers’ group Justice for Agriculture, the three were targeted because they are strongly involved in a litigation case, challenging an earlier eviction order. This case, which also involves 76 other farmers, is due to be heard by the Southern African Development Community Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia later this month.
After their abduction, the three were taken to a youth militia torture camp, where they were forced to sign forms saying they would drop the case.
The whole ordeal lasted about nine hours, during which time Angela had her arm broken in two places, Mike sustained a broken collar bone and snapped fingers and Ben suffered severe head injuries and almost lost an eye.
They were eventually dumped on the outskirts of a nearby town and told if they mentioned the abduction to anyone, they would be killed.
The three are now recovering in hospital.