President Robert Mugabe, who has of late been in a combative mood attacking the West left, right and centre for their alleged regime change agenda, has warned sugar conglomerates Hippo Valley and Triangle Limited they will find themselves in soup if they deny black farmers an opportunity to produce sugarcane.
Speaking in Gutu on Tuesday, President Mugabe said he would not hesitate to unleash Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa and Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke to investigate the claims of improper conduct with a view to bringing to book those found wanting.
He was addressing thousands of people at Chamisa Primary School in Gutu North where he visited his uncle, Chief Gutu, Kasirai Masanganise.
“We left the sugarcane industry to Hippo Valley and Triangle to farm, hoping that blacks would also be farming. But we see they don’t want blacks to farm. We are looking into the matter to find the truth,” President Mugabe said.
“Murerwa will go to Chiredzi together with Maluleke and investigate the claims and sort things out. Blacks and government should get 51% control and leave whites with 49 percent. If they are to come, they should be under us. Those who don’t want, we leave them alone. This is not the time to work for them, but to be employers or to be employed by blacks.”
But observers feared a takeover of Triangle and Hippo Valley would result in massive sugar shortage and the eventual closure of the companies.
Triangle and Hippo Valley are among the biggest employers in politically volatile Masvingo province.