A group of about 200 ZANU-PF thugs descended on a farm compound in the Nyamandhlovu area outside Bulawayo on Wednesday, and brutally assaulted farm workers and their families.
Some in the group were armed and they fired shots into the air while toy-toying. The farm owner and his wife have been barricaded in separate houses all day, along with some farm workers who escaped from the compound.
The attackers have been shouting that they want Munroe and singing in Ndebele. The police came and left without getting involved. It is believed that Obert Mpofu, the local ZANU-PF MP, ordered this attack.
Wayne Munroe, the farm owner, was phoning the police when 4 war vets entered his office. It is not clear whether they grabbed the phone from him, but a scuffle followed and Munroe was injured on the hand with the head of an axe blade. He managed to spray the attackers with pepper spray and in this way created an opportunity to escape. The attackers fired at him 4 times but they missed. Munroe made it to the farmhouse where his mother and grandmother live.
One of the farm workers escaped the beatings at the compound and ran to join Munroe. He reported that the attackers were planning to come for the farm houses, after they finished beating the workers.
Newsreel spoke to Ursula Munroe, while she was barricaded in the farmhouse and the attackers were out in their yard shouting for her husband. She has her two children with her aged 2 or 4. She said some of the attackers appear to be local settlers from neighbouring farms. She believes that they were offered food or other scarce commodities for carrying out these attacks. Among them are women and children in ordinary clothing who do not appear to be war veterans.
State-sponsored violence and intimidation on commercial farms has intensified this week. Several white farmers have been barricaded in their farmhouses and others have been evicted without much notice. As we reported, the President of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) Trevor Gifford is barricaded in his house and experiencing serious problems on his farm. Deon Theron, the CFU Vice President, has been evicted from his farm.