Gun Battle At Chegutu Farm As Themba Mliswa Blasts Mutambara

The chaos erupted after the Chegutu Zanu PF land committee led controversial former sports personality turned politician Temba Mliswa defied an order by the Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to stop the illegal farm invasions.

Themba Mliswa is now the operations leader of a new Zimbabwean terrorist group operating from Robert Mugabe’s office and it commandeered by the Minister of State Security in the President’s office Dydimus Mutasa.

No-one was injured in the gun battle but Police confirmed the arrest of Etheredge.

Mliswa said the order by Mutambara was "ill advised and will go ahead with occupying the commercial farms has they had offer letters from the government".

This follows a meeting of new farmers in Chegutu on Thursday.

During  a tour of the farms in Chegutu, Mutambara said the illegal farm evictions should stop immediately.

"There will be no holy cows. The axe will hit where it may and we will not tolerate any government official who is prolonging lawlessness in the country," Mutambara said then while leading a government team in Chegutu.

Farmers in the area, 120 kilometres south west of Harare, told officials that 17 farms had been affected since January and that Zimbabwe’s senate president was behind one of the seizures.

Fresh farm grabs have further tarnished the country’s image abroad as it desperately seeks foreign investment to kick start the economy after years of ruin, Mutambara told reporters.

"Our country is trying to attract investment, attract foreign aid, we can’t afford to be damaging business confidence in this country," he said.

White farmers have reported a surge in violence despite a power-sharing deal between long-time President Mugabe and new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who formed a unity government in February.

Chegutu farmer Peter Etheredge told reporters that Zimbabwe’s senate president Edna Madzongwe had forced his family off their farm Stockdale.

The land reforms launched in 2000 aimed to resettle blacks on 4,000 white-owned commercial farms, but the process was marred by politically charged violence.