Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Mugabe vows to defy regional court in land dispute with former white farmers

Mugabe Vows To Defy Regional Court In Land Dispute With Former White Farmers

President Mugabe vowed to defy rulings by a regional tribunal saying Harare
was pressing ahead with its land reforms to correct colonial land imbalances

Blessing Zulu & Ntungamili Nkomo | Washington 30 August 2010

President Robert Mugabe has vowed to defy the ruling of the Southern African
Development Community tribunal or any International Court concerning Harare’s
dispute with former white commercial farmers.

The state controlled Herald newspaper qoutes president Mugabe as telling
mourners at the burial of his brother in law, Reward Marufu Sunday in
Chivhu, Mashonaland East province, that the aggrieved farmers will never
reverse the land reform by appealing to international courts.

The tribunal ruled in November 2008 that the Zimbabwean leader’s
controversial land reform programme was discriminatory, racist and illegal
under the SADC treaty.

The regional court ordered the Zimbabwe government not to seize land from
the 79 farmers who had appealed to the Namibia-based court and said Harare
must compensate those it had already evicted from their farms.

SADC is currently reviwing the operations of the tribunal after Harare
challenged its legality. Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga told VOA’s  that
Mr Mugabe’s remarks show that he does not respect the rule of law.

Mr Mugabe meanwhile has threatened  threatened to confiscate land from
indigenous black farmers who are leasing out to former white owners, tracts
of land allocated to them by government.

Speaking Sunday, Mr. Mugabe said black land holders unable to utilize farms
given to them under the  land reform, should hand them back to the state
instead of leasing them to former white commercial farmers.

He said government was pressing ahead with land reforms, initiated by his
former ruling ZANU-PF government in early 2000 to correct colonial land

“Those (black farmers) who cannot put their farms to good use should
surrender them back to government,” state media quoted Mr Mugabe as saying.

Commercial Farmers Union Vice President Deon Theron confirmed to VOA that
some beneficiaries of the land reform program are leasing out their land to
white farmers because they have no capacity to engage in productive farming.


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