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HOUSE OF JUSTICE – December 2009

A chilling documentary on the atrocities conducted by Zimbabwean government in defiance of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) treaty. Accounts of torture, vandalism and violence on Zimbabwean white farm owners, as they fight to claim what is theirs, in the face of the land reform.




Documentary film produced by the Research & Advocacy Unit (RAU)


On September 22, 2009 the Dutch ambassador hosted a screening for ambassadors in Harare (including most SADC ambassadors) of the locally produced documentary "House of Justice”. The 26-minute film was produced by a local NGO, RAU, which received training in filmmaking from Witness, an American NGO started by Peter Gabriel.

The documentary examines recent violence on three Chegutu farms which were subjects of the SADC Tribunal ruling that the takeover of 77 white-owned commercial farms was unlawful. Despite the ruling, the government has continued the violent land grabs. Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa rejected the ruling of the Tribunal, claiming it lacked jurisdiction, and recently declared Zimbabwe was withdrawing from the Tribunal.


The film also highlights the human rights abuses suffered by black Zimbabwean farm workers since the land invasions began in 2000. Startling statistics flash on the screen during the film:


  • 71 percent of Zimbabwe's farm workers have been evicted since 2000;

  • 97.5 percent of victims of human rights violations have been farm workers;

  • less than one percent of land has been redistributed to farm workers.


The brutal truth about Zimbabwe's land reforms: 'House of Justice'

 This film was made in 2009 by RAU, with the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), to highlight the plight of Zimbabwean farm workers. Gertrude Hambira, the union's general secretary, had this to say about the film:

'I made the film to give a voice to the voiceless and to show the world what is really happening in Zimbabwe. The government has set up a youth militia made up of young unemployed people from rural areas who are sent to invade farms. They start to harass the workers, forcing them to attend their meetings. If the workers refuse to obey them they harass them, tie them to trees to beat them, force their children to watch the torture they inflict on them. And if we call the police for help, they simply look on without doing anything.'

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