Zanu PF admits lingering land reform chaos

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CHAOS continues to mar government’s land reform programme amid an admission by the ruling Zanu PF that it erred in its compulsory acquisition of farms from black Zimbabweans, as well as in failing to compensate white farmers and foreign investors protected by bilateral investment agreements.

The revelations, contained in the party’s central committee report presented to the party’s sixth congress held in Harare from December 2 to 7, fly in the face of previous claims by President Robert Mugabe and senior government officials that government had successfully conducted the land reform exercise which started in 2000.

The programme was launched with the avowed objective of redressing colonial imbalances which saw the minority white settler population gaining a lion’s share of the country’s fertile land while the majority blacks were overcrowded in barren areas of the country.

However, as the party now admits, government went on to dispossess even the blacks who were meant to be the beneficiaries.

“There are indigenous Zimbabweans who had their farms acquired and resettled,” reads part of the report, adding “the party strongly feels that such acquisition should not have been done as it is tantamount to taking land from an indigenous person to empower another. Hence, where practically possible, the indigenous person should be given back their farms and people resettled thereon relocated.”

The 6 214 dispossessed, mainly former white commercial farmers, are still to be compensated for their losses, with the party blaming Treasury for failing to release enough funds.

“While the Ministry of Lands has been requesting Treasury to provide funds to meet this obligation, the funds provided have been inadequate to the extent that up to 2014, only 210 out of 6 214 former farmers have been paid either fully or partially for improvements.”

Government has to date carried out valuations on just 1 250 of these farms.

The party and government have another headache in dealing with compensation issues for the 258 farms measuring a combined 977 650 5171 hectares acquired from foreigners who were supposed to be protected by the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (Bippas) from expropriation.

Government insists that Bippas do not preclude such acquisition, but merely bind it to pay compensation.

However, citing cash constraints, the report says: “A decision has been taken by Zanu PF and government that we avoid acquiring for now, Bippa protected farms to limit the country’s obligations.
“Those farms already acquired stand acquired and resettled farmers will remain thereon.”

In a further demonstration of the chaos surrounding the land issue, Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora has said government will soon evict thousands of people conveniently allowed by Zanu PF to invade farms across the country in the run-up to last year’s harmonised elections.

“Land Reform is one of the biggest forms of indigenisation and empowerment. In the process, however, there was no proper screening when the farms were acquired,” said Mombeshora. — Staff writer.

3 thoughts on “Zanu PF admits lingering land reform chaos”

  1. C Frizell says:

    Well, on this subject so many lies are told that the mind boggles! Forgotten is the 1998 Land Congress where billions were pledged to fund an orderly and legal agrarian reform program. Forgotten is the disaster of the previous “resettlement” efforts. Forgotten is the fact that not all of the money pledged by the UK was used. Forgotten is the fact that our previous constitution forbade discrimination on the grounds of race. Forgotten is the fact that more than 80% of farmland had been bought since 1980 complete with the worthless “certificates of no present interest”. I say forgotten, but a better word is hidden.

    One day the citizens of Zimbabwe will discover the truth and realise that our misery is directly due to the deliberate destruction of the Rule of Law. It has always been the Rule of Law that distinguishes civilised nations from barbarism.

  2. Namatai says:

    Yes Yes hidden is the right and correct word to use when it comes to the information about what was paid to resettle the poor people which was done in a very small way. The connected got much.
    One day Zimbabweans will know its true. All we could do was to call the British names yet what we got never got to the intended recepients.

  3. Buffalojump says:

    The situation is a mess. Mugabe was on holidays in the East where they do not have racist policies and where development is based on priniciples of rule of law. The people of those countries have benefited as a whole.

    Zimbabwe has become a country of excuses and use the grievance culture.

    Those that want to work together to work for the real benefit of Zimbabwe. I was approached by an old friend to help find some technology to recycle plastic to produce other products. I found some that would be good for small scale recycling manufacturing.

    Even though my friend is a black Zimbabwean, I decided not to get involved because of the racism I would experience. I’m indigenous North American and involved in using technology for sustainable dvelopment but I expect I would still be disliked by those in power.

    So much potential Zimbabwe but !!!!!!!1

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