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.***

War vets invade black-owned farms

War vets invade black-owned farms

Suspected war veterans here have invaded commercial farms owned by fellow 
blacks in a move that flies in the face of Zanu (PF)’s purported empowerment 

by Brenna Matendere Munyati

Midlands Provincial Chief Lands Officer, Joseph Shoko, confirmed receiving 
reports of the invasions.

“We have ordered everyone who has illegally settled on the commercial farms 
to vacate the plots as a matter of urgency,” he said.

Shoko added that it is not the policy of government to forcefully occupy 
resettled farms.

Sources in the Chemagora smallholder farming area in Zhombe told The 
Zimbabwean that the war veterans were threatening the farm owners with 
unspecified action if they refused to vacate their properties.

“I have a lease for about 400 hectares of land here but the war vets have 
gone on to occupy it all,” said a farmer who refused to be named.

“What is surprising is that the invaders are not being arrested despite the 
fact that we have reported the cases to the police,” said another farmer.

Scores of other farmers said they were terrified by the levels of harassment 
coming from the former liberation war fighters.

The Zanu (PF) led government in 2000 embarked on a hurried land 
redistribution programme that displaced more than 4 000 commercial white 

President Robert Mugabe’s government then claimed that the programme was 
necessary to empower thousands of black farmers who were landless.

However, political opponents and critics accused the government of using the 
land redistribution exercise as a populist vehicle to regain support 
following the formation of the Movement for Democratic Change that was 
threatening Zanu (PF)’s hold on power.

Most of the prime land that was grabbed by powerful Zanu (PF) functionaries, 
while poor communal farmers were resettled on unyielding land, a trend that 
forced some of them to retrace their footsteps to their old homes.

Zanu (PF) activists who were used as foot soldiers have also invaded 
conservancies, sugar plantations and woodlots. 


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