Rights Lobby Seeks Justice For Zim's Murdered Farmer

Albert Ncube and Robert Nyathi were arrested in 2001 on allegations that they murdered Elizabeth Gloria Olds, a commercial farmer in the Nyamandlovu district in Matabeleland North.

The murder case has been pending for the last nine years and was delayed due to various reasons.

Three prosecutors assigned to handle the case failed to do so after they quit the attorney-general’s office. Also key witnesses have failed to turn up.

ZLHR regional coordinator for Bulawayo, Kucaca Phulu, said: “The delay in getting to the bottom of this case is worrying. The accused and those affected need justice and the delay is reflective of the inefficient and slow justice system in this country.”

Phulu said it was worrying that justice had not been served almost nine years after the two war veterans were arrested. But he said the justice system might have been compromised by the political nature of the case.

“When one looks closely at the case, it is difficult to ignore the political aspects. But in general justice in this country is very slow, as some times cases take between five and seven years to be completed, and in the justice system that is too much time.”

More than a dozen white commercial farmers were killed by Zanu (PF) supporters and war veterans during farm seizures President Robert Mugabe and his party said corrected historical imbalances in land allocation.

Olds was ambushed at the gates of her Silver Streams farm in Nyamandlovu. Her bullet-riddled body was found in a pool of blood.

Nyathi and Ncube were arrested but pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.

At their first court appearance in 2001, the state alleged in its outline that the two men, who were clad in army uniforms, shot at Olds 20 times and missed only five times.

Olds was the mother of another commercial farmer killed at the start of Mugabe’s campaign to repossess land from white-owned farms for redistribution to landless blacks.

Her son Martin Olds was killed after a four hour-long shoot-out with dozens of war veterans who had invaded his farm.

Self-styled war veterans, many too young to have served in the liberation war, led the occupation of white-owned farms in 2000. Times Live