GOVT READY TO SEIZE IDLE LAND OWNED BY ZANU-PF ‘HEAVY­WEIGHTS’

Daily Nation Newspaper - - NEWS OF THE WORLD -

HARARE - Zim­bab­wean Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa has re­port­edly said that his gov­ern­ment is "ready to seize any idle land owned by some of the rul­ing Zanu-PF party heavy­weights."

Ac­cord­ing to New Zim­babwe.com, Mnan­gagwa told tra­di­tional lead­ers in north­ern Zim­babwe that the coun­try's of­ten vi­o­lent land re­form pro­gramme was "done and dusted."

He said his gov­ern­ment had em­barked on a land com­mis­sion au­dit that un­earthed that some of his party’s heavy­weights owned more than one farm, which was in vi­o­la­tion of gov­ern­ment pol­icy that state one-man-one farm.

Mnan­gagwa said his gov­ern­ment was also go­ing ahead with its plans of down­siz­ing farms that were con­sid­ered too big and re­pos­sess­ing some of the farms for re­dis­tri­bu­tion to other Zim­bab­weans who were left out from the land re­form pro­gramme.

Mnan­gagwa's re­marks came months af­ter Lands and Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Per­rance Shiri said that Zim­bab­wean au­thor­i­ties wanted to ad­dress “in­jus­tices” com­mit­ted dur­ing land re­forms.

"Our gov­ern­ment is firmly com­mit­ted to a process of the need for cor­rec­tive mea­sures to deal with the con­se­quences of past in­jus­tices," Shiri was quoted as say­ing by the state-owned Sun­day Mail news­pa­per.

Start­ing in 2000, thou­sands of white Zim­bab­wean farm­ers were forced off their land by vi­o­lent state-backed mobs or evicted in du­bi­ous le­gal judge­ments, sup­pos­edly to help black peo­ple marginalised un­der Bri­tish colo­nial rule.

The farms, how­ever, were of­ten al­lo­cated to for­mer pres­i­dent Robert Mu­gabe's al­lies and fell into ruin, leav­ing tens of thou­sands of ru­ral labour­ers out of work and send­ing the econ­omy into a tail­spin as food pro­duc­tion crashed.

Mean­while, the op­po­si­tion, the Move­ment for Demo­cratic Change (MDC) party, has re­port­edly said that the coun­try is "fast de­gen­er­at­ing into a re­gional se­cu­rity threat as its eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion wors­ens".

Ac­cord­ing to News­Day, the MDC said it had pe­ti­tioned the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) and the African Union (AU) to in­ter­vene in bring­ing the coun­try’s wors­en­ing state un­der con­trol.

MDC spokesper­son, Ja­cob Ma­fume said that the party would go on a re­gional of­fen­sive to dis­cuss the coun­try's state with re­gional lead­ers.

Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa

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