Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Farmers fight on

Farmers fight on

HARARE CORRESPONDENT | 07 August, 2011 04:22

The Commercial Farmers Union, which last week elected a new leadership, is 
pushing for the compensation of white farmers dispossessed by President 
Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reforms.

The CFU says the land grab has cost the Zimbabwe economy $12-billion in lost 
agricultural production over the past decade.

About 4500 farmers were pushed off their properties.

Due to a diplomatic tiff with Britain, the former colonial master, Mugabe 
has refused to compensate the farmers, arguing that successive British 
governments should foot the bill for his land reforms.

But Charles Taffs, the new president of the CFU, said the white farmers’ 
pressure group was taking the issue of compensation very seriously. The CFU 
has submitted a proposal to the inclusive government.

“Let me be clear, compensation is not being driven for the sole benefit of 
those who have lost their homes and businesses. Compensation is being driven 
for all. To achieve compensation will be to reinstate the value of land 
tenure, allowing all to move on with the security needed to plan for the 
future,” said Taffs.

Taffs said compensation for the farmers was an issue of national importance, 
saying it was the key to unlocking funds desperately required to revive the 
agricultural industry.

“Without compensation being achieved, our country will continue to be a net 
importer, it will continue to be a dumping ground for inferior products and 
trade, it will continue to be donor-dependent, and, specifically for us, our 
sector will continue to decline.

“Until legal transfer has been achieved our farmers will never be 
competitive within the region, as funding will always be risk-loaded, 
driving production costs upwards, negatively impacting on viability.

“It saddens me that, while the politicians play, Zimbabweans are being 
isolated in terms of business participation due mainly to our inability to 
source competitive funding, allowing other countries to come in and exploit 
those very opportunities. As an example we have become the largest African 
supermarket for South African products. This needs to change and it needs to 
change now.”

Taffs revealed that the compensation drive itself was well advanced and was 
beginning to be taken seriously by all, including the government and the 
international community.

“Our Way Forward proposal has been canvassed widely both at home and abroad, 
creating a strong platform for dialogue which is now really becoming 
positive,” he said.

Outgoing CFU president Deon Theron, as reported by the Sunday Times last 
week, revealed that the bulk of the land seized by Mugabe went to his family 
and the Zanu-PF inner circle.


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