Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Multiple farm-owners defy Mugabe

Multiple farm-owners defy Mugabe

September 14, 2012 in News
ZANU PF cabinet ministers and other senior government officials, who are 
multiple farm-owners, continue to defy President Robert Mugabe’s order to 
surrender surplus landholdings in line with their party policy, as it 
emerged this week many of them are still clinging onto more than two farms.

Report by Elias Mambo
Following its defeat in a constitutional referendum and in a bid to ward off 
mounting political and social discontent, Zanu PF launched a controversial 
land reform programme beginning 2000 in which thousands of white commercial 
farmers were violently evicted from their farms in a programme Mugabe 
claimed was aimed at resettling landless people throughout the country.

However, most of the prime land was taken by senior Zanu PF officials who 
now own more than two farms each but are failing to utilise the land which 
in some cases has become derelict or lies fallow.

Mugabe’s repeated calls for his party officials to follow the 
one-man-one-farm policy and limiting farm sizes according to their 
agro-ecological region have largely been ignored. His lieutenants who 
grabbed several thousands of hectares of properties are still stubbornly 
clinging to them.

The situation is complicated by the fact that Mugabe’s family reportedly 
owns many farms, some say over a dozen, something which runs against the 
grain of his party policy.

As a result, Mugabe’s cronies have ignored his June 30 2011 deadline to hand 
back extra farms to the state. Observers say this has embarrassed Mugabe who 
has staked his reputation and election victory on the speedy transfer of 
land to majority black Zimbabweans.

Mugabe and his party are currently resisting a government land audit which 
has been agreed upon.

The Zimbabwe Independent has been carrying out a verification process on who 
owns what from the land reform programme and information gathered shows 
ministers, senior civil servants and top Zanu PF officials are still 
clinging onto the farms they grabbed through violence and intimidation.

This comes as the Zanu PF politburo on Wednesday condemned the recent 
invasions of the Save conservancy in a heated meeting in which Mugabe 
lambasted “greedy” party officials who continue to hold on to multiple 
Top government officials have been fingered in different official audits as 
multiple farm-owners ignoring the one -man-one-farm policy and restrictions 
on farm sizes, a move which underlines the failure of the land reform 

According to information gathered by the Independent, those who still own 
multiple farms include Senate president Edna Madzongwe with six farms, Local 
Government minister Ignatius Chombo (five), Home Affairs co-minister Kembo 
Mohadi (four), Mines minister Obert Mpofu (three), Information and Publicity 
minister Webster Shamu (four) and Youth Development, Indigenisation and 
Empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere (two), among others.

Madzongwe was given an offer letter for Stockdale farm (750 ha) but is said 
to be the owner of Aitape farm (2000ha), Couburn Estate (560ha) and Mpofu 
farm (450ha), Bourne farm (445ha) and Reyden farm (1340) dotted around the 

Chombo has five farms namely Allan Grange (3000ha), Oldham (400ha), Maple 
leaf, Glentwyn stand one, and Shingwiri (1600ha) in Chegutu.

Other Zanu PF members who are clinging to or had more than one farm include 
the late Sabina Mugabe (three), Leo Mugabe (three), Justice minister Patrick 
Chinamasa (two), Grace Mugabe’s late brother Reward Marufu (two) and 
retired Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena (two).

Mugabe’s family, including close relatives, reportedly own more than 12 
farms. Since the controversial land reform programme commenced, several land 
audits were commissioned and on numerous occasions blocked by Zanu PF 
ministers and war veterans, arguing the process was a witch-hunt targeting 
senior party officials and other beneficiaries of the widely criticised land 
reform programme.

Early this year, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urged government to carry 
out the long-overdue land audit. Tsvangirai and the MDC-T were reacting to 
reports that the Zanu PF land reform department led by Chombo and Lands 
minister Herbert Murerwa wanted to undertake a countrywide land audit, 
notwithstanding the fact that Murerwa is required to do the same process for 

Murerwa is still to undertake a national land audit in terms of the Global 
Political Agreement (GPA). According to Article 5.9 of the GPA, government 
should conduct a comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan land audit, for 
accountability and elimination of multiple farm ownership.

The GPA also seeks to ensure Zimbabweans who are eligible to be allocated 
land and who apply are considered irrespective of race, gender, religion, 
ethnicity or political affiliation.


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