MASVINGO — Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said Zanu PF will spare some few white farmers who were identified in the country’s 10 provinces as eligible for exemption from land grabs, contradicting his boss, President Robert Mugabe, who last year said all white farmers must go.
By Tatenda Chitagu
Mugabe made the remarks at the launch of the A1 Model Settlement Tenure Permits in Mashonaland West province last year.
“We say no to whites owning our land and they should go. Don’t be too kind to white farmers. Land is yours, not theirs,” he said then.
But an upbeat Mnangagwa sang a different tune yesterday when he addressed party supporters at a rally in Mucheke Stadium soon after the enshrinement of a train station which is set to be turned into a national monument where he bombed a locomotive in 1962.
“There are pockets of farms here and there which are still in the hands of white farmers because people supposed to take them did not take them,” Mnangagwa said.
“But we will repossess those farms which were not taken, except for a few whites who were identified by the provinces as eligible for exemption. We will give them offer letters.”
He added that the government would not apply its controversial indigenisation policy in some sectors.
“When it comes to indigenisation, we can discuss case by case, sector by sector, but it (indigenisation policy) remains paramount,” he said.
The indigenisation policy has been blamed for blocking the much-needed foreign investment in the country while the farm seizures are blamed for the food shortage that has resulted in Zimbabwe importing maize which it used to export, as well as the collapse of the country’s economy in 2007-8, which was agro-based.
Mnangagwa said the government has started looking for additional supplies of maize as the current reserves would not be sufficient to feed the whole country following drought that has ravaged most parts of the country this year.