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.***

New, old farmers wrangle over infrastructure

New, old farmers wrangle over infrastructure

by Own Correspondent Saturday 16 October 2010

HARARE — More than half of nearly 12 000 blacks allocated medium sized
farms under President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land redistribution
programme are locked up in disputes with the former white owners mostly over
infrastructure and equipment, according to a government land audit report

The report dated March 26, 2008 and one of several such reports prepared by
Mugabe’s previous government also acknowledges that thousands of workers of
former white commercial farms have not benefited from the farm reforms, with
several thousands of the ex-labourers left without jobs or land.

Under the chaotic and often blood reforms the medium-sized or A2 model farms
are supposed to engage in commercial farming and absorb tens of thousands of
workers from former white-owned commercial farms. A1 model farms are
smallholder plots in either villages or on self-contained units.

 “There are a total of 6355 disputes amongst the 11 857 beneficiaries who
were audited and found to have taken up their A2 plots across the country’s
eight provinces,” said the report shown to ZimOnline this week.

The document titled “Consolidated National A2 Land Audit Report”, which was
prepared by the old Ministry of Lands said most of the disputes are over
farm infrastructure such as water sources, fencing, houses and other farm
structures which are either immovable or former owners were prohibited form
taking away with them on the promise that they would be compensated for the

Mugabe, who has refused to pay white farmers for land he says was stolen
from blacks in the first place, has also not compensated the farmers for
infrastructure and other improvements on the land despite promising to do
so – or in cases where compensation was offered it was way below market

Giving more evidence of the suffering caused Mugabe’s skewed land reforms
the report said thousands of black farm labourers who enjoyed steady
employment and income under their former white employers were not allocated
land and are jobless.

Some have become squatters on the new A2 farms but refuse to work for the
cash-strapped new farmers who cannot afford to pay wages.

“A total of 15 086 former farm workers who are not employed by the A2
beneficiaries but are residing on 674 A2 plots were found during the audit,”
the report said.

Mugabe’s land reforms are blamed for plunging once self sufficient Zimbabwe
into food shortages after the veteran leader failed to provide funds and
skills training to black peasants resettled on former white farms to
maintain production.

Poor performance in agricultural had far reaching consequences as hundreds
of thousands of people lost jobs, while the manufacturing sector, starved of
inputs from the key sector, virtually collapsed.

The coalition government has promised fresh land reforms that are more
orderly but to date has failed to carry out a land audit that is critical to
any programme to rectify the damage caused by Mugabe’s violent farm
redistribution programme.

The administration has also failed to stop Mugabe’s supporters in the army
and from his ZANU PF party from seizing more land from the country’s few
remaining white commercial farmers. – ZimOnline.


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