Evicted Zim­babwe farmer told he will be go­ing home

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Ed Cro­p­ley – Reuters, ad­di­tional re­port­ing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise.

A WHITE Zim­bab­wean farmer kicked off his prop­erty at gun­point in June has been told he will be go­ing home within days – the first signs of the post-Robert Mu­gabe gov­ern­ment mak­ing good on prom­ises to re­spect agri­cul­tural prop­erty rights.

Rob Smart, a 71-year-old farmer from the east­ern dis­trict of Rusape, said he un­der­stood his case had been taken up by new Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa, who heard of Smart’s vi­o­lent evic­tion while at an in­vest­ment con­fer­ence in Jo­han­nes­burg.

Smart said new provin­cial min­is­ter of state Mon­ica Mutsvangwa had as­sured him it would be re­versed.

Ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports at the time, Smart and his fam­ily, in­clud­ing two small grand­chil­dren, were kicked off their Les­bury farm along with scores of work­ers in early June by riot po­lice armed with AK-47 ri­fles.

In all, the evic­tion would have hit the liveli­hood of as many as 5 000 peo­ple, Smart said.

Mean­while, Zim­babwe’s new gov­ern­ment pledged yes­ter­day to re-en­gage with in­ter­na­tional lenders, curb spend­ing and at­tract in­vestors to re­vive its bat­tered econ­omy.

In the first bud­get since last month’s re­moval of long-time ruler Robert Mu­gabe, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Patrick Chi­na­masa also said the gov­ern­ment would amend in­di­geni­sa­tion laws, lim­it­ing a 51% lo­cal own­er­ship re­quire­ment to just the plat­inum and di­a­mond sec­tors.

It would re­tire civil ser­vants aged over 65 and close some over­seas diplo­matic mis­sions.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.