CHINHOYI — Zanu PF Mashonaland West provincial chairman Temba Mliswa has insisted that the remaining white commercial farmers “illegally” occupying farms must vacate their land by May 15.
Mliswa reiterated the call for ejection of white commercial farmers at the weekend after his initial ultimatum last month at Chinhoyi Training Centre at a meeting attended by about 50 commercial farmers.
There are reportedly 74 white farmers in the province 41 of whom were recommended to remain on their farms, meaning the rest should leave.
According to sources, only 11 white farmers were given offer letters while four were given 99-year leases. The combative Hurungwe West legislator also warned fellow black A2 farmers against leasing their farms to white commercial farmers.
Mliswa said Zanu PF would repossess land from any black farmer who went into farming partnerships with whites.
“One of the resolutions of the Provincial Lands Committee which is chaired by Provincial Affairs minister Faber Chidarikire, and of which I am the deputy chair, states that all blacks co-habiting with white commercial farmers will have their farms repossessed. No one has authority to parcel out land to another individual,” Mliswa said, while addressing A2 farmers at Chinhoyi Country Club on Sunday.
Mliswa said there should be security of tenure at farms if productivity is to be increased.
A farmer, Stella Muchenje, who was offered a farm by government, said she was being frustrated by a white commercial farmer who was refusing to leave the property after being granted a court order not to vacate.
“They must go. What is so special about white farmers? But what we are saying is that they have not committed any crime. However, as a party we cannot have uncertainty. It’s either they have it (offer letter) or they don’t,” Mliswa said.
Some A2 farmers welcomed the move saying some white commercial farmers were “racist and un-neighbourly” while others boasted of being “well-connected to top Zanu PF officials”.
Mliswa said all A2 farmers, particularly whites, should be incorporated into Zanu PF political structures as cell chairpersons and urged them to prop up Zanu PF and its various programmes.
Since the onset of farm seizures in 2000 which saw thousands of white commercial farmers relocating to neighbouring countries, Zimbabwe has been a net importer of grain following successive years of poor agricultural yields as “new” black farmers struggled to fill the country’s silos.