Accessibility links

Zimbabwe's Mugabe & Cronies Main Beneficiaries of Land Reform - Report


President Robert Mugabe, top officials of his ZANU-PF party, senior military officers and judges have been the main beneficiaries of land reform with 5 million hectares of land among them

The Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe said Tuesday that it is examining avenues of appeal following the dismissal late last week by Supreme Court Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku of its application seeking an end to new farm seizures.

Commercial Farmers Union President Deon Theron said the group's only hope now was to appeal to the Namibian-based Southern African Development Community tribunal.

But approaching the tribunal could be futile at least in the near term as the ZANU-PF side of the Harare government has dismissed a 2008 SADC ruling ordering Harare to compensate white farmers who had lost land through often-violent farm takeovers.

Theron told VOA reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that commercial farmers were disappointed with the ruling, in effect a green light for seizures of the white-owned farms that have not yet been taken over - a few hundred compared with several thousand before 2000.

Meanwhile, Web-based news agency ZimOnline reported that President Robert Mugabe, top officials of his ZANU-PF party, senior military officers and judges have been the main beneficiaries of land reform with 5 million hectares of land among them.

ZimOnline reported that about 2,200 people now control almost half of the most fertile land seized from white commercial farmers. It said President Mugabe and his wife Grace own 14 farms accounting for a total of nearly 16,000 hectares of land.

The Web news agency said seven are in Mr. Mugabe's home province of Mashonaland West and the rest are in Mashonaland Central province.

Vice President Joyce Mujuru, her husband Solomon and their relatives own at least 25 farms for a combined land area of 105,000 hectares.

Other multiple farm owners include Vice President John Nkomo. Properties he controls include the Jijima wildlife sanctuary, which he seized from a black commercial farmer.

ZimOnline Editor Abel Mutsakani told VOA Studio 7 reporter Patience Rusere that only 150,000 ordinary Zimbabwean have benefited from the land reform program, and that most of them received between 10 and 50 hectares of land.

Former CFU president Trevor Gifford said the ZimOnline report shows that land reform was intended to benefit the few at the expense of ordinary black Zimbabweans.

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG