No to fresh farm invasions

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Most small-scale farmers say they do not have enough resources to farm. Picture: Aaron Ufumeli

IT was heartening to note that Zanu PF still has some patriotic cadres in a true sense after Sanyati MP and war veteran Blessed Geza Runesu called for fair distribution of wealth in the country.

NewsDay Editorial

Geza also lashed out at fellow Zanu PF politicians accusing them of extortion.

It must be noted that Geza’s lashing came after President Robert Mugabe told a pliant Zanu PF rented crowd at Chipfundi Farm in Mhangura during the launch of the A1 permits that the remaining whites should not be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe.

Justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa last week also vigorously defended Mugabe in vain over his call for the expulsion of the few white farmers who remain on the country’s prime agricultural land.

More than 3 000 whites were forced off their lands when Zanu PF unleashed war veterans and land hungry Zimbabweans on the white commercial farming community, apparently angered by Britain’s refusal to fund land reforms.

Mugabe’s remarks drew widespread condemnation with ordinary Zimbabweans saying the President’s racist tirades were unhelpful at a time the country was trying to re-engage the West to help mend its failing economy. Mnangagwa was put in an invidious position and did little to hide his usually fawning defence of Mugabe claiming the Zanu PF leader was “misunderstood”.

With all due respect Mugabe misfired and he must be ashamed of himself after the debacle. For Mugabe to set people against each other is being racist and cannot be tolerated in a democracy.

How a country such as Zimbabwe can have an ongoing land reform programme for years on end is anybody’s guess. The bottom line is every Zimbabwean has a right to land and this includes Zimbabweans of colour for that matter.

Besides the land reform programme must be brought to finality to allow government to grow the agriculture sector.

Sadly, Mugabe’s recent call has sparked a new wave of evictions targeted on the few whites who have either funded the ruling party in one way or the other.

Now does the country need to be at war with itself always? For it is a fact that top ruling class politicians have leased their government-allocated farmland to white commercial farmers for maximum productivity and the alliances have worked for both the politicians and to some extent for the country.

How long will Zimbabwe be at war with its people? The population needs to go about their chores in peace and Mugabe should know that.

All right-minded Zimbabweans will agree with Geza that all those party apparatchiks involved in the new farm evictions are going against the values of the liberation struggle by “filling their own pockets” at the expense of the general populace they claimed to represent.

It is hoped that Mugabe – an excitable character did not mean to excite his party hoodlums to invade farms and steal in his name, but that the new farmers needed to be involved in the actual farming activities rather than becoming “cellphone farmers”.

Zimbabwe requires more sensible leadership to portray a clear picture of where the country is heading. Zanu PF politicians must also show leadership by planning ahead – given Mugabe’s age.

There has been gross indiscipline in Zanu PF and this has seen some party members disregarding the core business of reviving the nation’s economy and focusing on looting to line up their pockets.

Yet, all Zimbabweans including those from other racial groups who have opted to stay since Independence must enjoy equal citizenship and partake in economic activity without any burden of prejudice.