Wed, 19 Sep 2018

Harare - Zimbabwe's main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party has called for the implementation of a "holistic and sustainable" land reform programme that would ensure food security for the southern African country.

In a statement, MDC spokesperson, Obert Gutu, said that his party supported the land reform programme but was against violence that was mated out on farmers by ex-president Robert Mugabe's government.

Said Gutu: "Our main bond of contention with the haphazard land reform programme that was instituted by the Robert Mugabe-led Zanu-PF regime in 2000 was its violent and unco-ordinated trajectory.

"As a result of this ill-planned and poorly-executed land reform exercise, the country's commercial agricultural base was decimated as several top Zanu-PF politicians and other politically well-connected individuals selfishly and corruptly awarded themselves huge tracts of arable farm land that they couldn't efficiently and competently manage."

Gutu said that under an MDC led government would ensure that "the land reform programme beneficiaries are given security as owners and occupiers of their pieces of land".

Fresh land grabs

"Resettled farmers will be empowered in such a way that they will be able to grow and expand the country's agricultural base. The MDC will also institute a land audit that will unlock all under - utilised land for re-distribution to deserving Zimbabweans regardless of race, colour, creed or political affiliation," said Gutu.

He called on all party supporters to "promptly apply for land allocation at the relevant government departments".

This came months after the Morgan Tsvangirai led party castigated former president Mugabe over his threats to embark on fresh land grabs targeting the few remaining white commercial farmers in the southern African country.

Mugabe in June said that white commercial farmers who still remained on the farmsshould be removed from their properties because most Zimbabweans were in need of land.

The nonagenarian said this while addressing thousands of the ruling Zanu-PF party supporters in the farming town of Marondera, about 80km east of the capital Harare.

The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union had over the years indicated that more than 4000 white farmers were affected during the land invasions embarked on by Mugabe's administration in 2000.

Some of the white farmers that were kicked out of their properties during the agrarian reforms had now set base in neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Source: News24

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