PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is likely to be confronted with evidence of renewed lawlessness at commercial farms when he hosts Sadc leaders on Friday after a petition was launched online to protest the invasion of a farm in Figtree, Matabeleland South.
The petition is calling on regional leaders to help stop deputy chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Ray Ndhlukula from grabbing Centenary Farm owned by David Connolly.
Mugabe will host fellow heads of State and government beginning tomorrow during the annual two-day Sadc summit in Victoria Falls.
Ndhlukula, who chairs the Sadc steering committee for the upcoming summit, has thrown out 20 workers and their families from the dwellings at Centenary Farm after moving in occupy the farm house last week.
This was despite a High Court order barring him from occupying the farm. Last week Ndhlukula ejected about 75 workers from the farm comprising Connolly’s workers and their dependants in a flagrant disregard for the High Court.
The petition urges Sadc leaders to lean on Mugabe to stop the lawlessness that has seen Zimbabwe sink into serious economic problems.
“We, the undersigned, strongly urge Sadc leaders to condemn lawless, self-help evictions of people from their homes, especially by senior officials in the inner circle like Dr Ndhlukula in Zimbabwe and we ask that human rights, the rule of law and property rights be re-established in Zimbabwe as per international law,” the petition reads in part.
“This is a petition to protect Tymon Sibanda’s job (at Centenary Farm) and home, as well as the other 75 employees and families from Centenary Farm and help stop the madness by beginning to add real value to the Zimbabwe economy.
“It is essential for democracy and prosperity that we insist the Zimbabwe government lead well and respect the courts, respect property rights and respect the right for all races to be treated equally. If they don’t, they are clearly not fit to lead Sadc.”
According to the petition, Sibanda is a survivor of the liberation struggle and the Gukurahundi atrocities in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces. He has worked for Connollys since the 1960s.
The petition had been signed by 563 people yesterday and has a target of 100 000 people. It will be delivered to Sadc leaders and diplomats.