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Zimbabwe's Land Reform Chief Called To Account On Fallow Farmland

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono told parliament this week that the improper use of farm land is to blame for the country’s economic decline. Speaking in parliament Tuesday, Gono said beneficiaries of land redistribution have not produced enough food, obliging Zimbabwe to allocate scarce hard currency to import it.

The committee had summoned Gono to explain why a financial crisis is preventing the police and air force from procuring vehicles and critical spare parts for fighter planes.

Political commentator Pedzisayi Ruhanya, also program manager of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an advocacy group, applauded Gono’s statement, adding that the economy cannot be rescued when farm output has fallen more than 40%.

Coming back to Gono's comments on Wednesday, opposition legislator Giles Mutsekwa of Mutare North demanded a response from Security Minister Didymus Mutasa, who is also in charge of land reform. Mutasa responded that Harare takes the matter seriously, and will strip farms from those who are not making good use of them.

Mutsekwa commented later in an interview that neither Mutasa nor the ruling ZANU-PF party have ever shown the will to fix the problems caused by land reform. He said conflicting statements from Mutasa undermined the credibility of his response.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...