Some Zimbabweans in the United Kingdom are staging peaceful demonstrations to protest the invasion of a white commercial farm owned by Phillip Rankin, who’s has been under siege for more than three weeks now.
A Zimbabwean-born doctor, Sylvester Nyatsuro, based in the UK with alleged links to Zanu PF, is said to be trying to take over the farm in Mashonaland Central with a tobacco crop worth more than $360,000.
Ephraim Tapu of Zimbabwe Vigil tells Studio 7 the protests being staged outside the doctor’s offices in Nottingham are designed to seek the revocation of Dr. Nyatsuro’s licence and deportation to Zimbabwe if he is not a British citizen.
Dr. Nyatsuro was not available for comment as his lawyer, Stephen Pearson of Freeths LLP Solicitors in Nottingham, was not responding to calls as he was said to be busy.
A property belonging to the Zimbabwean government was auctioned in Cape Town, South Africa, last month to pay for legal costs incurred by white farmers in their bid to get compensation for their farms that were forcibly taken by the government during the land reform program that began in 2000.
According to AfriForum, a South African-based human rights group, the sale was a result of the organisation’s success in assisting dispossessed Zimbabwean commercial farmers to enforce a 2008 ruling by the Southern African Development Tribunal, which found that the appropriation of the farmers’ land without compensation was unlawful, racist and in contravention of international law.
The country’s land reform program has been blamed for challenges in the agricultural sector and general decline of the Zimbabwe economy, which at one stage registered historical hyperinflation.