Mugabe admits failure

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe this week indicated that government had failed to bring to an end disruptions on farms, six years after embarking on the agrarian reforms.


In an address at the opening of the second session of the sixth pa

rliament on Tuesday, Mugabe said disruptions and indiscipline continued on farms.


“Attention should continuously shift towards clearing impediments to optimal productivity in the agricultural sector,” Mugabe said. “These include adequate and timely resource mobilisation as well as security of tenure and stability on the farms, issues of commodity pricing, production and farmer support programmes.”


On disruptions on farms, Mugabe said: “I wish to make it crystal clear that government will not hesitate to deal firmly with all cases of indiscipline on the farms.”


In an address in July 2004 at the opening of the fifth session of the fifth parliament, Mugabe promised to personally see to it that the chaos, which he referred to then as “irregularities”, were brought to an end.


Said Mugabe then: “A number of issues related to land reforms remain outstanding. Whatever irregularities have occurred in the process of land reform are now being attended to so they can get corrected. The presidency is dealing with this matter,” he said.


Despite setting up various commissions of enquiry, taskforces and carrying out land audits as well as coming up with laws including a constitutional amendment touted as the panacea to troubles in the agricultural sector, Mugabe said in the latest parliamentary address there was still instability on farms.


A week earlier President Mugabe told Zanu PF members during the ruling party’s 23rd National Consultative Assembly that people were “pushing and being pushed” off farms.


Justice for Agriculture chairman John Worsley-Worswick this week dismissed Mugabe’s promise to bring order on farms as rhetoric.


“What he says in public and what happens on the ground are 180 degrees diametrically opposed. There has not been any rule of law on commercial farms for the past six years,” he said.


The president of the Commercial Farmers Union, Doug Taylor Freeme, attributed failure to restore productivity to the absence of consultations when government is dealing with land matters. — Staff Writer.

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