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Zimbabwe Offering Whites Farms as Economy Stutters

  • Tatenda Gumbo

FILE: Representatives of Ray Ndlukula, deputy secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, late last year barricaded entrances to David Conolly's Centenary Farm in Figtree, Matabeleland South Province. Ndlukula vowed to take over the farm saying the governme

FILE: Representatives of Ray Ndlukula, deputy secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet, late last year barricaded entrances to David Conolly's Centenary Farm in Figtree, Matabeleland South Province. Ndlukula vowed to take over the farm saying the governme

Some Zimbabweans, including members of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Morgan Tsvangirai, have hailed a move by the government to offer land to white commercial farmers, who lost many farms under the country’s controversial land reforms program blamed by critics for the current economic crisis.

They say the government appears to be back-tracking on its land reforms, which started in 2000 and saw some indigenous black people aligned to the ruling Zanu PF party taking over vast tracks of land from white commercial farmers.

Indications are that some of the white farmers have over the years been offered land by the government without public pronouncements.

The state-owned Herald newspaper reported this week that six white farmers in Masvingo are likely to get offer letters for land if they are identified by the provincial leadership as being of strategic economic importance to Zimbabwe.

For perspective reporter Tatenda Gumbo speaks to Obert Gutu, spokesman of the MDC formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai and and Zanu PF member and farmer, Gadzirai Chirumhanzu.

Chirimhanzu says calls by Lands and Rural Settlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora for provincial leaders to identify these farmers is not earth-shattering as the Zanu PF land policy is clear on such issues.


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