THE opposition MDC-T yesterday dismissed Zanu PF’s land policy U-turn saying the latest decision to allow indigenous farmers to enter contract farming with white former commercial farmers appeared suspicious and “had come rather too late”.
Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora announced the new policy at a State function in Mashonaland West Province last week.
In a statement yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu said the policy announcement was meant to be a damage control exercise to correct the harm caused by the ruling party’s chaotic land reform programme launched in 2000.
“The MDC views the Zanu PF decision to allow contract farming and joint farming ventures as a very insincere and ill-timed gesture particularly as it comes a little too late when the entire Zimbabwean population has suffered the consequences of the demise of the agricultural sector,” Gutu said.
“More than 90% of Zimbabweans are wallowing in poverty as a direct consequence of the Zanu PF regime’s ill-conceived, chaotic and violently executed so-called land reform programme.
“The manufacturing and industrial sectors have fallen on hard times due to the failure by the Zanu PF regime to successfully execute a sustainable and holistic land redistribution exercise.
“Whilst the MDC has always called for the sustainable and equitable redistribution of land to all deserving Zimbabweans and as a measure of uplifting the living standards of the country’s citizens, the Zanu PF regime hijacked the programme and completely failed to effect a viable land reform exercise thus leading to the total collapse of the commercial agricultural sector.
As a direct result of the Zanu PF regime’s ineptitude and gross incompetence, Zimbabwe has been reduced from being the breadbasket of Africa, to being a basket case.
Gutu added: “The MDC has always advocated for a land reform exercise that would guarantee the upliftment of the people of Zimbabwe’s living standards, regardless of race, colour or creed.
“The MDC maintains that the land reform exercise should ensure that there is sustainable food production and that people are empowered to develop and grow their farming skills in order to positively impact their communities.”