Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Illegal leases to cost farmers land

Illegal leases to cost farmers land

Herald, Monday, December 06, 2010

By Obert Chifamba

GOVERNMENT could, at the conclusion of investigations, repossess land
from farmers found guilty of leasing farms to white former commercial
farmers in Hurungwe District, Mashonaland West.

Speaking after a meeting in Chinhoyi last Friday to discuss allegations
of land leasing, Mashonaland West Governor and Resident Minister Faber
Chidarikire said such acts were in direct contravention of a clause in
offer letters stating that farmers should neither lease nor sub-contract

Yesterday, Zanu-PF national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, attacked
those beneficiaries of the land reform programme leasing out land to
white former commercial farmers – labelling them saboteurs bent on
compromising the Government’s empowerment efforts.

Said Governor Chidarikire: “The policy is very clear and we shall look at
the cases one-by-one after which we will repossess the land depending on
the reports that will be compiled by the team that will be on the ground.

“There was no defence of any kind from the farmers who were in the
meeting. Nobody could say there is no leasing of land so we are only
waiting for the findings from my team before we take action against the

Some of the farmers said to be involved in the leasing of farms had
entered pacts with white farmers in which they would get as little as
three percent of the revenue generated while others were said to be
getting between seven and 10 percent.

Some of the indigenous farmers bought land before the agrarian reforms
and are also said to be leasing it.

“From the look of things, the leasing of land could have been happening
for a long time and we understand that some have even leased their farms
for as much as 15 years while some of the farmers confessed that they
were in the last stages of their contracts.

“We are not against the idea of farmers getting contracted by genuine and
reputable contractors who are concerned with their welfare, but what is
happening in Huru-ngwe is not what we expect as Government and we will
not allow that to go on,” Governor Chidarikire said.

He, however, said there was a group of tobacco farmers who were
contracted to BAT in the area and some of the company’s white
inspectors could have been mistaken

Illegal leases to cost farmers land for returning farmers.

Friday’s meeting came in the wake of allegations that over 30
farmers in Hurungwe were leasing out farms and that some white former
farmers had started developing infrastructure such as barns and were
bringing in huge consignments of irrigation equipment like centre pivots.

Addressing thousands of Zanu-PF supporters at a party inter-district
conference in Masvingo yesterday, Cde Khaya Moyo warned newly- resettled
black farmers leasing out land to white farmers that they risked losing
their farms.

This follows reports that some new farmers in parts of Hurungwe,
Mashonaland West are leasing out land for nominal fees.

President Mugabe has previously spoken out against such activities.

Cde Khaya Moyo said: “There are now confirmed reports that there are some
black farmers who benefited from the land reform programme who are
leasing their land to white former farmers.

“That is very disturbing considering the pain and sacrifice that was
invested to get that land from white farmers.

“Those people . . . are bent on derailing the land reform programme but
we want to warn them that they will be soon flushed out by a land audit
when it finally comes.

“What is more painful is the fact that these newly resettled farmers are
known and are openly admitting that they are leasing their farms, so what
is this now? “And to make matters worse they are being paid peanuts
– getting a share of profits as low as three to five percent; that
is shameful and must be stopped.”

He reiterated that Zanu-PF was committed to a comprehensive land audit
that will expose those who are leasing out land or under-utilising it.

Turning to the state of affairs in Zanu-PF, Cde Khaya Moyo appealed for
unity in the party.

He took a swipe at elements yearning for the collapse of the 1987 Unity
Accord between Zanu-PF and PF-Zapu.

“Let me make it unequivocally clear that the Unity Accord between Zanu
and Zapu is irreversible; the seal of approval to that sacrosanct
agreement was made by some of our leaders who are now late hence no one
will reverse it.

“Those who are pushing for that agenda are day-dreaming,” he said.

On next year’s elections, Cde Khaya Moyo said Zanu-PF was confident
of romping to a landslide victory and put the final nail in the coffin of
neo-imperialists and their local puppets.

Cde Khaya Moyo warned against imposition of candidates in Zanu-PF, saying
there would be no sacred cows in the 2011 primary elections.

He said media that claimed Zanu-PF was bent on subverting democracy
because it had vowed that MDC-T would not take power next year were
missing the point.

He said the declaration simply meant that Zanu-PF was not going to lose
the elections and hence would not be handing over power.

The Zanu-PF national chairman said recent revelations by Wikileaks
quoting former American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, showed
beyond doubt that MDC-T was a Western creature deployed to protect
Western interests.

He said it was interesting to note that even the Americans themselves no
longer had faith in MDC-T, whose leader Ambassador Dell described as

Present at yesterday’s meeting were Zanu-PF national political
commissar Cde Webster Shamu and Politburo members Cde Dzikamai Mavhaire
and Cde Stan Mudenge among others.


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