By Lance Guma
The family of the late tobacco farmer Guy Cartwright have spoken out about how former ZANU PF MP Tracy Mutinhiri and her ex husband, a retired army brigadier, violently took over their Waltondale Farm in Marondera.
Mutinhiri was the ZANU PF Women’s League Political Commissar and also the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare in the shaky coalition government before she was expelled in August last year, for allegedly de-campaigning the party. She joined the MDC-T a few days after the expulsion.
Last week Mutinhiri was a guest on SW Radio Africa’s Question Time and sought to explain how she and former husband, retired army brigadier Ambrose Mutinhiri, had taken over the farm from the Cartwright family.
Mutinhiri suggested that after initial resistance from the Cartwright family, they eventually struck an ‘amicable agreement’ which included buying some of their farm implements. SW Radio Africa invited Douglas Cartwright the son of the late Guy Cartwright, to give the family’s version of events.
Douglas said that the seizure of the farm had given them “huge emotional trauma and obviously financial stress in our lives.” He recounted how on the 6th of April 2002 a mob led by Brigadier Mutinhiri “marched straight onto the property and into our home.”
Cartwright said, at one point, his father was forced to pack his belongings while Brigadier Mutinhiri held a sjambok in his hand. He denied claims by Tracy Mutinhiri that they struck an ‘agreement’ to sell them their farm equipment, saying all they managed to get was some of their tobacco crop.
“They were particularly rowdy and seemed to be under the influence (of alcohol or drugs). Since that moment we were denied access to our homes and to our livelihoods as born Zimbabweans,” Cartwright said. He said the Mutinhiri’s had no offer letter nor was the farm designated under the Land Acquisition Act.
“They were operating under their personal greed. We don’t think it was state sanctioned. So we applied to the High Court to have an order to remove these illegal occupants, which was granted, but they ignored it. And I need to repeat that they are still there without our family’s permission and they remain there with impunity,” Cartwright said.
SW Radio Africa understands several MDC-T activists in Marondera are not happy with Mutinhiri joining their party and have started compiling affidavits to be used in opposing her membership.
Mutinhiri was meanwhile introduced to thousands of cheering party supporters at the burial of Cephas Magura, an MDC-T official murdered by ZANU PF thugs in Mudzi last week. She stood up to recite her first public MDC-T slogan before taking her seat. SW Radio Africa
The full interview with Douglas Cartwright: Click Here
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