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White farmers: ‘Zim at crossroads’

News
WHITE FARMERS yesterday said Zimbabwe was in a crisis that needed co-operation regardless of colour to steer the country out of the quagmire.

WHITE FARMERS yesterday said Zimbabwe was in a crisis that needed co-operation regardless of colour to steer the country out of the quagmire.

MOSES MATENGA/ NUNURAI JENA

Responding to President Robert Mugabe’s threats on Wednesday that white farmers should go, Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) president Charles Taffs said Zimbabwe was at a crossroads that needed everyone’s effort to bring the country to normalcy.

“My feeling is that Zimbabwe is at a crossroads and lets work together to fix it,” Taffs told NewsDay.

“As a people, regardless of colour, we must fix this as a whole, especially in the agricultural sector and across all sectors.”

Mugabe, who was speaking during the launch of the new A1 permits in Mhangura, said that he will not allow white farmers to own land in Zimbabwe warning his ministers who were protecting them to desist from that.

“I have been given a list of 35 white farmers in Mashonaland West alone and in just a few districts that have been audited.

We say no to whites owning our land and they should go. They can own companies and apartments in our towns and cities, but not the soil. It is ours and that message should ring loud and clear in Britain and the United States,” Mugabe said.

The comments irked several people who felt that Mugabe was pouring water on his recent calls for re-engagement.

Former Justice deputy minister Obert Gutu said it was sad that people were fighting other races.

“We don’t want rulers. We want leaders. We are fighting against all forms of prejudice and oppression; and this includes, but is, of course, not limited to, fighting against tribalism, regionalism and racism,” Gutu said.

Meanwhile, some newly resettled farmers stunned Mugabe on Wednesday when they told him that they preferred to partner whites.

During his address at Chipfundi in Mhangura, Mugabe asked the crowd if they were willing to work with the whites to which the “Yes” answer was more thunderous than the “No” response.

“We have 35 white commercial famers in Mashonaland West I’m told by your chairman Temba Mliswa . . . do you want them or not?” asked Mugabe to which there was a thunderous positive response.

“Eheehehe ehe ehe ehe ehe ehe (yes yes yes yes ),” chorused the crowd.

Sensing that the better part of the crowd wanted to partner whites, Mugabe warned the farmers that whites could not be trusted especially on the land issue.

But some farmers said the President’s call for his inner circles to shun the whites would fall on deaf ears as most top politicians in the province “dine with whites by night and denounce them by day”.

“Most top politicians in the province work in partnership with the whites and the president has confirmed that but the question is what he is going to do about it. That is the reason why the big politicians always get a bumper harvest,” said an A1 farmer who attended the event.