Enos Nkala, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Home Affairs in charge of the country’s police force, today viewed the macabre scene at Olive Tree Farm near here where 8 of 16 murdered missionaries were hacked to death Thursday.
The somber Mr. Nkala stood in front of the small guest bedroom where the Christian missionaries, hands tied behind their backs, were killed by 20 anti-Government rebels.
Mr. Nkala left the room to walk among the acres of neatly tended vegetable and corn fields, commenting on the new irrigation pipes and new corrals and sheds for animals.
”This is so tragic,” he said. ”These religious people had really developed their farm, and they were working very much with the local peasants.” Helped Surrounding Peasants
He was told how the Pentecostal group, calling itself the Community of Reconciliation, held classes for the surrounding farmers. The members had allocated plots of their irrigated fields to black farmers who could keep the vegetables they grew.
”This land will never be so well cared for,” he said. ”A dark cloud of death has settled here.”
Then Mr. Nkala became angry. ”We are going to account for this,” he shouted. ”We are going to get these dissidents.”
”This Gayigusu is their leader, and he is still around here,” the Cabinet minister said, pointing to the granite hills surrounding the farm. ”Our men are out there now, all around, and we are going to get him. We want that Gayigusu, we want his head.”
Mr. Nkala’s vow of vengeance contrasted sharply with the nonviolent Christian spirit that pervaded the two homesteads, Olive Tree Farm and New Adam’s Farm, where the other missionaries were killed, about 30 miles south of Bulawayo. She Watched Helplessly
Esnath Dube, who had helped care for the children on the farms, told Mr. Nkala and other officials how she had watched helplessly as the victims were led, one by one, into the room where they were hacked to death, apparently because the rebels felt shots would alert nearby soldiers and policemen.
”They were peaceful, silent as they died,” Miss Dube said. ”They didn’t scream or cry. But I was screaming and crying. I vomited. It was awful.”
John Russell, 74 years old, had been living at New Adam’s Farm for five years but was away on vacation when the killings occurred. Two of his daughters and four of his grandchildren died.
”I don’t think I can come back here again,” he said. ”I love these farms and have been very happy here, but I just can’t come back.”
Mr. Russell said his daughters and their husbands had helped found the Community of Reconciliation to help bring Zimbabwe’s blacks and whites together after the 10-year guerrilla war to end white-minority rule.
”We all decided that we could not have armed guards and security fences to protect us from the dissidents,” he said, referring to the standard security measures taken by white farmers here. ”How could we live in a fortress and expect the people to trust in God? No, we couldn’t.” Squatters Are Denounced
Although the missionaries were highly respected by small-scale black farmers, they were not so popular among the poorest of the poor, the landless people forced by the shortage of land and the current drought to become squatters on the land of others.
”I hold the squatters responsible for calling in the dissidents against these missionaries,” Mr. Nkala said. He said that when the Government last week ordered squatters off the two mission farms, some of them issued threats.
There are thousands of squatters in the region, Matabeleland, and Mr. Nkala said the dissidents were acting on their grievances.
”These are problems we have in Zimbabwe,” Mr. Nkala said. ”The dissidents and the squatters are our own political and ethnic problems.”
”But we live in southern Africa, and all our problems are intertwined,” he said. ”You cannot separate them. South Africa is involved in backing these dissidents, just as they are backing Renamo in Mozambique and Unita in Angola.”
‘THOSE PEOPLE HAD A VISION’
KANSAS CITY, Nov. 28 (Special to The New York Times) – Members of the Community of Reconciliation knew the risks they were facing in Zimbabwe, according to the pastor of a Kansas City church that has helped support their mission.
”Those people had a vision,” said the Rev. Noel Alexander, pastor of the nondenominational Kansas City Fellowship Church, who has twice visited the missionary community with a team of supporters from his congregation.
”They knew the risks,” he said, ”because they had had confrontations with the dissidents before.”
His church was one of several that supported the little community of Pentecostal Christians. To give the community ”cash flow,” Mr. Alexander said, his church had helped them buy cattle. He said they had used some of that cash to buy blankets for Africans.
”They were a humble, selfless people who literally laid down their lives for their cause,” he said. ”That cause, as their name implied, was the reconciliation of man with God and man with man.”
Speaking of one of two Americans who were slain, David Emerson, 35, a native of Minnesota, Mr. Alexander said he was to have been married to Penelope Lovett, another victim. The other American was Karen Alice Sharon Ivesdahl, 34, a North Dakota native.