Prof Sam Moyo, the director of the African Institute of Agrarian Studies in Harare, said Zimbabwe would not change its stance on white commercial farmers who lost their land during the country’s land reform programme
Moyo, one of President Robert Mugabe’s land reform supporters, said he was misquoted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, which quoted him saying that more than 300 former white commercial farmers could be back in business this year. Moyo said the country’s stance on white commercial farmers remained unchanged.
His comments come after the country’s Commercial Farmers’ Union alleged that about 500 remaining white farmers are under threat as only 19 were given 99-year land leases, despite more than 300 having applied for leases, which are issued under stringent conditions.
Speaking to Farmer’s Weekly during last December’s Zanu-PF congress in Goromonzi, 100km east of Harare, state security, agriculture and land affairs minister Didymus Mutasa said his government will only offer farms to former white farmers who are “genuine” and who do not desire to become politicians.
“We can let them back on our land if they want to go the farming way. We have started issuing eviction orders under the newly gazetted Land Act so that more land will be made available to the landless people,” Mutasa said.
Zimbabwe’s agricultural productivity has fallen by more than 60% since 2000. Mugabe has blamed the drop on drought. – Fidelis Zvomuya.