Former Zanu PF MP for Mhondoro Mavis Chidzonga says whites are good and productive farmers who deserve to be given land to farm.
Chidzonga, a former commissioner general for the Zimbabwe Electricity Regulatory Commission, said this at a one-day conference in Harare which was pregnant with surprises including political atonement, apologies and startling confessions.
“Give the whites land,” Chidzonga said. “I have a PhD in Agriculture but it is just theory. I now live next door to whites and I have learnt a lot (of good farming) from them.”
Chidzonga, who was part of the Zanu PF leadership in 2000 during the chaotic seizure of land from white commercial farmers in Mashonaland West, said there was nothing wrong in giving whites land to farm because they deserved equal opportunity and should not be discriminated against.
“What are we doing to those people who are willing to come to us and farm? If there is a Zimbabwean who wants to farm, no matter what race, let them be given the opportunity,” she said.
Vice-President Joice Mujuru spoke at the same venue and literally jolted delegates off their seats with candid confessions.
She said her party, Zanu PF, was sick and tired of “sleeping with one eye open” because it had made too many enemies through its unpopular and often violent approach to politics.
She promised business delegates in attendance that Zanu PF was prepared to transform from a feared to a respected and popular party. “Things change and Zanu PF can change,” she said.
As if on cue to prepare the audience for what was to come from VP Mujuru who delivered her speech at the end of the conference, Chidzonga took a swipe at government ministers whom she accused of riding roughshod over ordinary people while misleading their own party leaders.
Mujuru said President Robert Mugabe ended up being loathed by ordinary Zimbabweans who blamed him for things that he knew nothing about – for crimes done in his name but without his sanction or even knowledge.
“Most people think that (President) Mugabe knows everything, but the truth is he doesn’t know. His lieutenants don’t tell him everything. Messengers have a tendency to misrepresent things. This is what has been happening. I have often heard him (President Mugabe) say, ‘Mai Mujuru, is it true that things can happen that way?’ It shows that his lieutenants have not presented facts in the correct format,” VP Mujuru said.
She said the leadership in her party was now “determined to give Zanu PF a human face”.