VP Chiwenga mourns farmer Swanepoel

Source: The Herald – Breaking news.

VP Chiwenga mourns farmer Swanepoel 
Dr Constantino Chiwenga

Fidelis Munyoro

Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga has sent a message of condolence to the Swanepoel family following the passing on of veteran farmer, Mr Nick Swanepoel, who died in South Africa last week.

Last  night, VP Chiwenga said he, together with his wife Colonel Miniyothabo Chiwenga and staff from his office join President Mnangagwa in mourning Mr Swanepoel.

He described Mr Swanepoel as a farmer of repute and a fine gentleman who served Mashonaland West Province and the nation at large with distinction.

“He belonged to a rare breed of former farm owners who took it upon themselves to selflessly negotiate with the Government, culminating in the signing of the Global Compensation Deed, which provided a lasting solution to the land question in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Mr Nick Swanepoel worked well with  VP Chiwenga in the Joint Resources Mobilisation Committee and his contribution to this noble national cause will solely be missed.

“We shall forever cherish the moments we spent with him and remain indebted to him for his selfless contribution to the development of our great nation. To the Swanepoel family, please accept our heartfelt condolences.” Mr Swanepoel played a key and progressive role in the search for a cordial, negotiated settlement to the Zimbabwean land question, according to President Mnangagwa in his condolence message last Friday.

President Mnangagwa extolled Mr Swanepoel’s level-headedness and the role he played when Zimbabwe corrected the skewed land distribution, which favoured white settlers to the detriment of native Zimbabweans. Mr Swanepoel was a long-time leader of the Commercial Farmers Union from the year 2000 when the struggle for the recovery of land entered a decisive phase.

He and like-minded progressive white farmers kept their heads and tirelessly pushed for a non-confrontational and non-political approach to the land question, even calling for the removal of the then right-wing CFU executive led by Mr Tim Henwood, which they correctly saw as an obstacle to a just resolution of the land question.

President Mnangagwa implored the nation to recommit to the vision of a non-racial society as the country mourns and remembers Mr Swanepoel, a great figure of post-independence racial conciliation through just settlement.

All Zimbabweans, he added, should deepen and entrench the vision for a just, non-racial society in which colour, creed or tribe never count or matter in daily lives and engagements.

After a successful land reform, the Government under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, signed the agreement that committed to compensate white ex-farmers up to US$3,5 billion for land developments.