Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Stop fresh farm invasions – Chombo

Stop fresh farm invasions: Chombo

Herald, Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Herald Reporter

ZANU-PF will not tolerate fresh farm invasions and has warned against the
practice saying the law will be evoked against those who do so, the
party’s secretary for lands and rural resettlement Cde Ignatius
Chombo has said.

Cde Chombo urged the people of Zvimba District to prepare for elections
that may be called for anytime next year.

Addressing farmers from Zvimba District at Banket Country Club over the
weekend, Cde Chombo, who is also the Local Government, Rural and Urban
Development Minister, said invading farms would not empower anyone. He
said some youths in the province were invading farms allocated to new
farmers arguing it was part of the empowerment drive.

“You cannot be empowered by farm invasions. If you want land, come
forward and we will allocate you. No Zanu-PF youths should invade farms,”
he said.

Cde Chombo rapped what he said was a growing tendency in the province
where some white commercial farmers were hiring out some youths and bogus
war veterans to protect them against the acquisition of land for
resettlement purposes.

“Only the law will defend you. The land reform is irreversible,” Dr
Chombo said in an appeal to the farmers to approach the relevant
authorities in the event they were not satisfied with the developments.

Some of the hired youths and war veterans have been involved in
skirmishes with new farmers in possession of genuine offer letters. He
criticised the hiring of former farm workers by some white former
farmers to disrupt farming operations through veld fires, stealing from
new farmers and general chaos in the province.

Cde Chombo said farmers should have a uniform method of paying workers to
guard against abuse of farm workers amid reports that some farmers were
paying in kind with food. The payment discrepancy has seen some workers
opting to do part-time jobs on neighbouring farms. He said former farmers
whose farms were gazetted for acquisition should vacate the farms unless
they were issued with offer letters for parts of the farms.

“Unless you were given offer letters, former farmers should vacate.

You may go to court to contest the acquisition but you cannot contest our
desire to take the land. You may win on technicalities but that win is an
empty win,” he said.

On elections, Cde Chombo urged all the farmers in the district to
mobilise their workers and family members to vote for Zanu-PF.

“We have a referendum next year. Let us win the referendum and the
general elections that will follow. We are in campaign mode now,” he
said. He said Zanu-PF would be holding campaign meetings on the farms and
expects the farmers to be members of the party cells.

“If you benefited from the land reform exercise you are Zanu-PF. The land
reform exercise is solely a Zanu-PF initiative,” he said.


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