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Zimbabwe Farmers Union Criticizes Government Over Mounting Land Seizures

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

The 2008 power-sharing agreement between ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change calls land reform irreversible, but the MDC has unsuccessfully called for an end to farm seizures

The Commercial Farmers’ Union, which represents Zimbabwe's remaining few white farmers, said Tuesday that it is disappointed with the unity government which it says has not halted seizures of white-owned properties.

The CFU said three farmers have been violently driven out of their farms in the past two weeks in Mashonaland East and Manicaland provinces.

Of the estimated 300 white comercial farmers remaining in Zimbabwe, 152 are now under imminent threat of losing their properties to politicians belonging to President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, the union says.

The 2008 Global Political Agreement for power-sharing between ZANU-PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations says land reform is irreversible, but the MDC has called for an end farm seizures which it says further damage the agricultural sector and discourage investment.

The unity agreement also says former colonial power Britain should take full responsibility for compensating white commercial farmers whose properties have been expropriated since the land invasions began in 2000.

Commercial Farmers Union President Deon Theron told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that his union wants the government to halt disruptions of farms and related lawlessness.

Theron said government inaction will only worsen food shortages, particularly of maize meal, the national staple. The government said this year's crop totaled 1.2 million tonnes - but the country needs some 1.8 million annually.

VOA was unable to reach Lands Resettlement Minister Hebert Murerwa.

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