A senior official of Zimbabwe's former ruling ZANU-PF party in Mashonaland West province said the government cannot carry out a land audit proposed by the office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai until Western sanctions on top ZANU-PF officials including President Robert Mugabe are lifted.
Though the September 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing between ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change provides for a national land audit to be carried out, ZANU-PF official Temba Mliswa said such an inventory will hinder black empowerment and reverse the gains of land reform in Zimbabwe.
Mliswa said his party will resist any government moves to carry out a land audit in the province, a traditional ZANU-PF stronghold, until sanctions are lifted.
The party resolved at a December congress to resist the land audit until the Mr. Tsvangirai's MDC has prevailed upon its supposed Western allies to lift travel and financial sanctions, accusing the West of trying to undo land reform. The MDC says it is not responsible for imposing or lifting the sanctions.
Mliswa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the proposed land audit won’t help revive the national economy as proponents say.
Lands Secretary Vincent Gwaradzimba of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said ZANU-PF is not telling the truth about the land audit which he said will expose the shortcomings and inequities of the land distribution initiative. Critics say much land has fallen into the hands of top ZANU-PF officials.