VP Msika playing games on Kondozi?

I REFER to the article “Msika fights on” (Zimbabwe Independent May 21). To me this is a classical case of double-speak on the part of the vice president. Some people refer to it as speaking with a forked tongue.


<
FONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>While the phrase “immoral little boys” is quite appropriate when one considers to whom it was being applied, the bottom line is the vice president did lose out to the boys.


If he was genuine when he said it was wrong to forcibly remove 5 000 employees and their families from Kondozi, their source of livelihood and leave them stranded on the highway, then he cannot possibly claim victory because the little boys had their way.


On the one hand, he claims he is on top of the situation, and on the other he says that profitable horticultural concerns should not be disturbed. He then goes on to say he and the president share the same position regarding the land issue.


This leaves me totally confused because the president categorically stated that the land redistribution exercise would not be complete if Bennett and De Klerk remained landowners and this was irrespective of the fact that the two and their partners were running very successful operations.


Furthermore, the president has never expressed regret at the loss of life and destruction of property. Hero status was even conferred on the late Chenjerai Hunzvi for causing untold suffering and destruction of property in the countryside and on the farms but not a murmur was heard from the vice president.


To add to the confusion, he then says: “Personally, I wouldn’t accept having the army and police descending on farms to forcibly evict owners, farm workers or peasants”.


Really, comrade Msika?


Forcible evictions, destruction of property and physical harm and even death of farmers and their employees have been the hallmark of our land redistribution exercise. Is the vice president now trying to say he has been in disagreement with the methods used? Why then didn’t he resign or at lest speak out?


Why hasn’t he spoken out against the failure of the executive arm of government to comply with court orders in favour of Charleswood Estate? At least six such orders were issued by the courts but the police and the army still violently occupied the farm and have consistently refused to vacate it. At least one death was reported. Is the vice president saying government policy is to make use of the army and the police but he personally disagrees?


He also says he only gave up on the issue of Kondozi after conferring with Mugabe.


Are we expected to accept that whatever Mugabe says justified the human rights abuses that were meted out to Kondozi employees and their families?

Finally, for the vice president to say the land issue has been a success generally has got to be a very sick joke.


Quite how a programme that has resulted in our people being fed by our erstwhile enemies – Britain and America – can be considered a success is puzzling. And, lest we forget, the Utete report tells us that 137 000 families benefited from the programme. The problem is, 300 000 families were displaced. For goodness sake, our economy has been shrinking at the rate of at least 12% per annum for the past four years. Inflation now averages 600% while unemployment stands at 80%.


This is all due to the successful agrarian reform! Is the vice president a toothless bulldog or simply playing political games just because sometimes his conscience gets the better of him?



Abbie Mphisa,

Eritrea.