Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tsvangirai MDC on Zanu PF, Land Conflicts in Zimbabwe

President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo
President Robert Mugabe with his two deputies, Phelekezela Mphoko (L) and Emmerson Mnangagwa (R). Collage by Ntungamili Nkomo

The Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Morgan Tsvangirai says current conflicts within the ruling Zanu PF party, which is allegedly linked to the re-invasion of some farms owned by its members, who were recently kicked out of the organization, is an indication that all is not well in the party.

Below is a full-text statement issued by Tsvangirai's party.

It is now emerging, rather crudely though, that the Zanu PF chaotic land reform was never genuine nor about redressing past colonial imbalances, but a shameful vote buying, patronage jamboree meant to prop up the regime’s waning fortunes. The current re-invasion and vandalism now targeted at the once Zanu PF perpetrators now turned Zanu PF enemies, Temba Mliswa, Dydimus Mutasa and a host of others around the country raises a stink.

The whole charade as manifest in the latest madness of re-grabbing of the once grabbed farms is shameful and vindicates the MDC’s long held assertion that the regime was never sincere both in intention and purpose about the ill fated land reform exercise in the first place. What is most disgusting is the replay of the same chaotic and violent manner reminiscent of 2000, exposing the worst levels of impunity characteristic of the regime.

Whilst the country experienced an erratic rainfall pattern this season and is faced with hunger, requiring 700 000 tones of maize imports, we hold Zanu PF accountable for this whole disaster owing to the regime's record of poor economic planning and policy discord since 2000.

Despite the country’s vast inland water bodies, the Zanu PF regime has failed to put in place sustainable plans to harness water for crop irrigation and avert hunger. The chaos such is ensuing within Zanu PF itself and reflecting in every sector of the economy is evidence enough of a country in a malign order and is requiring urgent intervention. The Zanu PF chaotic agrarian reform has failed to address poor agricultural productivity, property rights and rural poverty.

At its inception, the MDC identified access to land and the enhancement of agricultural productivity as being central to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty. As such one of the resolutions of the working people’s convention of February 1999, which was reaffirmed by the party’s founding manifesto of the same year, outlined a plan to acquire over 8 million hectares of agricultural land for resettlement purposes and to provide security to communal farmers.

In 2000, largely in response to the political challenge presented by the MDC, the Zanu PF regime embarked on its so called “Fast Track Land Reform Programme.” Its 15 years since that ill-fated programme and the regime is still trapped in that chaotic mode. Suffice to say to date, only a tiny proportion of the MDC's target of 8 million hectares has been lawfully acquired and the rest lies derelict, deserted and unproductive.

The farms were taken over by a political elite that has been unable to maintain production and have presided over the decimation of the capital infrastructure that existed on the farms prior to the ill-conceived “Fast Track Land Reform Programme.”

Consequently agricultural production has declined by nearly 80%, exports have plummeted and nearly 70% of all foodstuffs are being imported. Because of the synergy between commercial agriculture and other sectors such as manufacturing and banking, the collapse of the agricultural sector has had serious ripple effects on the Zimbabwean economy with almost every industry closed and the entire nation reduced to vending.

The MDC will address issues of equitable land ownership and security of tenure, property rights, enhanced productivity, food security and sustainable land use, which the Zanu PF regime has clearly failed to do.