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Number of people settled a betrayal

SO finally the land audit committee’s findings are now known? I am happy that the land reform has ended but feel betrayed by the number of people who were finally resettled.

sans-serif”>A figure of 300 000 families had been tossed around by ministers.

Yes, some of us gave them the benefit of the doubt that they would be able to resettle 300 000 families, but here you are. Their own statistics, gathered by their own team, have revealed that less than half of the intended beneficiaries have benefited.

What have you to say for yourselves ministers? Well, in any major exercise like this one, there are bound to be hiccups. But your case is not helped by the fact that in the shadows there are special people who got more than one farm. Who are they? We have not been told.

Why are they being kept a secret? Maybe the government is guarding against the possibility of litigation against the government? Yes, it might sound reasonable. So could we go a step further and wait until President Robert Mugabe starts dealing with them? We would want to see what he will be doing.

President Mugabe could be trying to make the land reform look successful.

Yes, there are several quarters that were not happy with the land reform programme and could have put spanners in the works, but was that not anticipated? I would assume that in the planning process this could have been anticipated and government could have lowered its figures.

So now the optics do not look good. Supposing that indeed the forces that were derailing the land reform were effective, it becomes difficult for us now to believe the government because they should have known and likewise lowered people’s expectations. Of course, there were those who would have pointed fingers and criticised the land reform for being able to serve only 134 000 families. But the government would have created credibility for itself by sticking to more realistic figures.

The initial pressure that would have been exerted on them to justify the allocation for only 134 000 families could have been absorbed and taken just like any other pressure that was present on their 300 000 figure.

So, should we think that the other 150 000 beneficiaries were a smokescreen for the extra farms that would be needed by the government’s special persons?

President Mugabe should not try to distract people’s attention but should immediately unravel the mystery of persons with multiple farms. Also, he should deal with the corruption that was perpetrated by senior government officials who were supposed to be exemplary.

Kuthula Matshazi,

London, England.

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