Meryl Harrison – her 80th Birthday

Meryl Harrison on her 80th birthday

Meryl Harrison photographed at the party to celebrate her 80th birthday.

Meryl Harrison is renowned for her part in the rescue of the animals forcibly abandoned on farms during the turmoil of Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. 

“I never thought I’d reach my 80th birthday. Those of you who know me well know my life has been a bit of a car crash, and really it’s quite unexpected. I’ve crawled here one way or the other.”

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The courage to save the animals – interview with Meryl Harrison

One of the early interviews on The Phraser: Meryl Harrison, the lady who drove towards the chaos on Zimbabwe’s farms to help the animals as Mugabe’s land redistribution programme gained momentum.

The Phraser

Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe's chaotic land redistribution programme Meryl Harrison of the ZNSPCA who led animal rescues at the time of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land redistribution programme (photographed in England in 2012)

Ten years ago the BBC presented Meryl Harrison with a Special Award for Outstanding Work in Animal Welfare. Her ‘outstanding work‘ was done on Zimbabwe’s farms whilst Mugabe’s chaotic land redistribution programme was in full surge.

This was in the early 2000s.

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Innocent Victims by Catherine Buckle: Extract 3

This is the third of four extracts from Innocent Victims, the book by Cathy Buckle about the rescue of the animals caught up in Zimbabwe’s land redistribution programme. This extract shows the confusion that erupted over who got what land, and how this impacted on the animals involved.

The Phraser

Innocent Victims - Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe's farm invasions by Catherine Buckle Innocent Victims – Rescuing the stranded animals of Zimbabwe’s farm invasions by Catherine Buckle.

“In total, 260 Holstein cows were stuck in the middle of a bitter dispute and were losing weight and condition dramatically.”

The land the cattle were on had originally belonged to the Hughes family who had bought Bains Hope Farm in 1932. In 2003 the family were evicted and the land was caught in a tug-of-war between A1 settlers and Mr Bayisa – an A2 settler. As the arguments and intimidation continued the cattle got weaker and weaker.

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