via ZANU PF commitment questioned over multiple land ‘clampdown’ | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell October 23, 2013
The ZANU PF government’s bid to crack down on multiple land owners has prompted many questions about the party’s commitment to such a move.
According to the Herald newspaper, the government has ordered beneficiaries of the land grab campaign, who have safari operations as well as former commercial farms, to choose one of the two and surrender the other to the State. This order is meant to be honoured “with immediate effect for allocation to people on the waiting list,” the Herald reported.
The land seizures, which have been ongoing since 2000, were rolled out under the guise of ‘reform’ and led to the almost total destruction of Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector. Instead of handing the properties to ordinary Zimbabwean citizens, senior ZANU PF officials and cronies ended up as the main beneficiaries.
Some of the chief offenders of multiple land ownership are also senior party members, including members of the first family.
This includes ZANU PF politburo member and Senate President Edna Madzongwe, who has six farms. Government Ministers Kembo Mohadi and Webster Shamu both have four farms each, while Minister Ignatius Chombo has five farms. Other senior officials also have more than one property, including Ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Chinamasa, who both have two farms each.
Robert Mugabe and his relatives are the biggest offenders, with more than 12 farms. This includes the farms now controlled by Grace Mugabe, who has been steadily building up a commercial empire of land.
The situation has raised many questions about who the multiple ownership ‘clampdown’ will target, if the order to surrender the farms is ever honoured. Observers have said it is unlikely that the senior party offenders will be forced into giving up the properties that they ‘earned’ as ZANU PF loyalists.