LAND GREED ELEVEN YEARS ON –
BY: GRACE MACHOKO
The land reform program in Zimbabwe initially started with a hard-fought war and then after years of struggle, in 1979, the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement in an effort to try and fairly redistribute land between the blacks and whites in Zimbabwe as well as unite the people. Then, in the year 2000 the government drafted a referendum for a new constitution targeted at land reform despite having a sufficiently large majority in parliament to pass any amendment it wished and despite vast support from the government driven media, the new hyped up constitution was defeated, 55% to 45%.
Had it been approved, the new constitution would have empowered the government to acquire land compulsorily without compensation. The results that followed were archaic. The War Veterans Association, with and without genuine war heroes gathered as many people as they could and marched onto white owned farms and forcibly evicted the white owners and their farm hands off the land. This land acquisition was violently planned and the innocent descendants and dependants were left without compensation let alone a foot to stand on.
Despite the fact that many puppets of the hierarchy we dispatched to reclaim the farms, much of the land was claimed and retained through corrupt means by officials from ZANU-PF, army officers and many high-ranking police officers. Hundreds and thousands of farm workers were excluded from the redistribution programme, losing their jobs and their homes in the process. In an act to exact revenge, Robert Mugabe had unleashed a “land reform” program aimed at driving whites from the country through violence and intimidation and thereby also unleashing a campaign of blatant racism against the white farmers.
I say all of this now because 11 years later, after the fast track land reform was implemented, I am not surprised when I read that, Robert and his family own an astounding 39 documented farms (+3 farms a year – imagine the amount of acreage wasting away that he has at his disposal!) and counting!
Apart from Mugabe, his ever loyal cronies also have several illegally acquired farms, some given in return for their political affiliation and “unbound” immoral loyalty.
The outgoing president of Commercial Farmers Union, Deon Theron documented that some of the loyalists and ZANU-PF members have been gifted with several farms.
This blatant failure in the rule of law has allowed a long list of corrupt individuals to create a widespread perception that it is acceptable to do as you please especially if you are well placed and viewed highly by Robert.
Below shows the number of farms “redistributed” to the elite;
- Robert Mugabe and Family: 39 Farms
- Patrick Chinamasa and family:5 Farms
- Ignatius Chombo and family: 6 Farms
- Philip Chiyangwa and family: 5 Farms
- Saviour Kasukuwere and family: 8 Farms
- Obert Mpofu and family: 5 Farms
- Constantine Chiwenga and family: 3 Farms
This is a clear indicator that the president’s land reform programme has been plundered by Bob and members of his party.
Several judicial commissions have found many cases of multiple-farm ownership and fraudulent claims, even Mugabe’s own wife, Grace, has since the land grab began in 2000 corruptly acquired several choice commercial farms in contemptuous breach of her husband’s stated “one-man-one-farm policy”. Yet again she makes me laugh!
Many forces are in control inZimbabwe, mostly evil, and maybe that’s why there is total disregard for the laws that are passed; laws that they expect every other Zimbabwean to follow when they themselves can’t even abide by them! How is it that one man and his bosom buddies are able to get away with so much and all we can do is just condemn them yet no real action is taken or can it?
It is widely recognised that the land redistribution in Zimbabweis a ticking time bomb and in typical form, Mugabe plays the blame game. He blames the food shortages on drought and the cumulative effect of sanctions imposed against the country but I tell you this, Robert Mugabe, all you have to do is look no further than your bathroom mirror and then you will be face to face with the real cause of the agricultural collapse inZimbabwe!
Mugabe has stated that corruption will not be tolerated yet he has never named corrupt people in his government nor has he taken action against those named in several audit reports, Grace included – Interesting!
Zimbabwewas once so rich in agricultural produce that it was dubbed the bread basket ofSouthern Africaand now it is now struggling to feed its own population with 45 percent of its people considered to be malnourished and living well below the poverty line!!
Shame on you Robert and Co. when you know the rightful descendants of the land you are stealing is property of Zimbabweans regardless of creed or colour! To typify Zimbabwe, Robert has allowed corruption to flourish in all avenues but especially with the land reform program together with his close political allies.
Shame on you!!!!