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.***

Calls for non-partisan land audit

MDC calls for non-partisan land audit

By Alex Bell
03 December 2010

The MDC has this week urgently called for a transparent and non-partisan
land audit, calling it “paramount to national survival.”

The calls come after ZANU PF’s greed was exposed in the media this week in
reports that detailed how a select group of Mugabe’s ruling elite and other
party loyalists is in control of about 5 million hectares of Zimbabwe’s most
profitable land. According to ZimOnline after a three month investigation
into the corrupt land grab scheme, a “new well-connected black elite of
about 2, 200 people now control close to half of the most profitable land
seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers.”

The report details how top ZANU PF ministers, governors, security officials,
and even court judges have all been rewarded for keeping Mugabe in power, by
claiming large pieces of land stolen from commercial farmers under the guise
of land ‘reform’. The report says that all of ZANU PF’s 56 politburo
members, 98 Members of Parliament and 35 elected and unelected Senators were
allocated former white owned farms, all 10 provincial governors have seized
farms, with four being multiple owners, while 65 percent of the country’s
more than 200 traditional chiefs have also benefited from the land grab.
Mugabe and his wife Grace, are the chief multiple farm owners, with 14 farms
in total that measure over 16,000 hectares.

The MDC said in a statement this week that “the so-called invader-sponsored
land leases bear testimony to ZANU PF and Mugabe’s insincerity about land
reform. They knew, right from the beginning, that none of the senior
officials who now control a whooping five million hectares of choice plots
of this finite resource were ever interested in commercial agriculture –
beyond fulfilling a sucking, vacuum cleaner mindset of licking out and
pillaging anything that moves.”

The Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed by both parties, calls for a
land audit, a move that has been resisted clearly because of the corruption
that has been labelled ‘reform’. The MDC is now calling for an urgent audit
so there can be “restoration of full productivity on all agricultural land
that would have been redistributed irrespective of race, gender, religion,
ethnicity or political affiliation.”

The MDC also pointed out in its statement how Zimbabwe’s agricultural
exports have fallen drastically because of the land grab scheme.
“Lack of activity on the farms proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the
ZANU PF elite was never interested in agriculture,” the MDC said.

The destruction of agriculture at the hands of ZANU PF means the country has
been largely dependent on international food aid for many years. This week,
the United Nations (UN) once again launched a humanitarian appeal for
Zimbabwe, citing “unresolved problems in the agriculture sector.”

Announcing the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) for 2011, the UN’s Office
for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Thursday said
Zimbabwe’s humanitarian situation remained precarious despite “two years of
modest economic recovery”. It said problems in agriculture would mean
millions of Zimbabweans would continue to face hunger next year. Food
assistance makes up the largest part of the appeal, accounting for nearly
US$159 million.


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