GWERU — Former Midlands governor Cephas Msipa said the decision to allow some white dairy white farmers to keep their properties and to continue production in the Midlands was out of national interest.
He said if focus was not placed on production, the country would be importing milk. Msipa, who is also a Zanu PF politburo member, made the remarks during a visit by Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy minister Paddy Zhanda to meet farmers in Gweru on Monday.
He said the colour of one’s skin did not matter as long as they were productive on the pieces of land they occupied, adding that he joined Zanu PF to bring positive change to the country and not for personal gain.
“People should understand that there is national interest and self-interest,” said Msipa.
“Some of us joined politics to bring about change and not for personal gain.
“It is in the national interest that I said these dairy farmers should remain on their farms. We don’t have to import milk when we have people who are productive. It does not matter that one is white or black; what we want is development.”
Statistics show that raw milk production in Zimbabwe is averaging 4,5 million litres per month against estimated demand of 8 million litres per month.
At the height of the land reform programme, some white dairy farmers in the Midlands province were arrested and evicted from their farms.