The
Zimbabwe
Letters

     
  Another farmer murdered  
     
 
Another of Zimbabwe's productive farmers murdered.

The Justice for Agriculture Trust is appalled at the cold-blooded murder of yet another of Zimbabwe's few remaining productive commercial farmers. The Trust finds the nature of this killing particularly abhorrent at this time of Zimbabwe's acute humanitarian food plight and foreign currency shortages. If nothing else, at the very least, this latest murder of a
commercial farmer highlights, during these difficult times, the abject breakdown of the rule of law in Zimbabwe's commercial farming areas.

Mr Donald (Don) Stuart (68), a dairy farmer and horticultural vegetable producer in the Norton/Harare West farming area, was viciously and brutally assaulted by a gang of intruders prior to his murder by strangulation in the early hours of this morning.

Mr Stuart's homestead on Ngwarati Farm was one of the country's most secure and extensively protected homesteads, with security measures and alarm systems. The gang gained access through the removal of tiles from the homestead roof. After the viciously brutal assault and subsequent murder the gang had time to destroy evidence by covering the body with
mattresses, dousing them with petrol siphoned from farm vehicles and then torching
the homestead. Very little, if anything, in the way of substantial property or vehicles seems to have been removed from the homestead. personal items of clothing have subsequently been recovered away from the homestead.

Don Stuart is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Dave, the elder son, is involved in operations on the farm and is determined to continue farming. Mrs Stuart was away on holiday in the United Kingdom at the time of Don's murder.

The JAG Trust and JAG Membership Association extend their sincere sympathy and condolences to the Stuart family over their tragic loss and the loss to the country.

The JAG Trust calls on the responsible Zimbabwean authorities, especially the law enforcement agencies, to return commercial farming areas countrywide to: the rule of law; respect for property rights; and, above all else, absolute respect for all human rights.