The Raleigh News and Observer profiles a couple from Zimbabwe that was forced to escape their native country when the thug-o-crats decided to “spread the wealth around.
Sitting at the kitchen table in the couple’s apartment in Ayden, Helen remembers vividly what happened next. Two Mazda pickups, bristling with armed police, were waiting for her. Their leader snatched the gate’s keys from the employee and turned to Helen.
“This is no longer your property. You have 24 hours to get out,” he told her. If you don’t, “we’ll kill you or put you in jail, whichever you prefer.”
It was not an idle threat. In 2000, war veterans killed a neighbor after he refused to leave his farm.
The Herbsts prided themselves on the relationships they formed with their black employees, many of whom worked with the family for years. The couple had provided a pre-school on the property for workers’ children, and a free health clinic where mothers could take their babies. Wally had hoped that his family’s longstanding ties to the area would spare his farm from seizure.
In the end, it did not matter. With the help of neighbors and friends and their vehicles, the Herbsts were forced to pack up as much as they could. Police pilfered from the trucks as the woman who would be moving into their home gave demands...