Govt spurns CFU overtures

via Govt spurns CFU overtures – DailyNews Live by Mugove Tafirenyika  10 JANUARY 2014 

Government says it has no intention of re-engaging with the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), an independent membership-driven organisation which advances the interests of white farmers in Zimbabwe.

Agriculture minister Joseph Made told the Daily News in an interview recently that overtures by the CFU to work with government to establish a Land Commission was coming a little too late.

He said government was no longer interested in cooperating with the former white commercial farmers because they previously spurned his proposals for re-engagement.

“They (CFU) are going from place to place talking about re-engagement but we are saying our main preoccupation at the moment is seeing to it that we have produced enough to feed the country,” Made said.

“I personally tried to engage them for more than six times at the expense of meeting other unions but they insisted that the CFU did not represent individual farmers as they had chosen to go it alone,” said Made.

Made said CFU had the right to express their opinion on the current agriculture model but could not lecture government on the need to provide a conducive environment for agricultural development, as well as restoring investor confidence in the country.

“Now, after completing the land reform programme, we cannot be seen concentrating on a union whose membership is negligible,” Made said.

“They must focus on their membership or join other unions to form one single union.

“They have made their point to us but we need to be reasonable. The land reform programme is irreversible

“Instead of making such proposals, CFU should be calling for the removal of sanctions because they were imposed on the country the moment we embarked on the programme to empower our people.”

Last year, CFU presented a proposal to government seeking to persuade authorities to reconsider their position on the issue of land “to create a win-win situation, without financially prejudicing the country and its people”.

CFU president Charles Taffs, told the Daily News they had presented to government a model that will guarantee security of tenure, access to affordable credit and long-term investor confidence to new farmers.

The first step in the proposal was that the government acknowledges the debt owed to former farmers as compensation for their farms.

It proposes that for every title deed held by former farmers, bonds will be issued to a value corresponding to the value of the farm.

The bonds will be internationally underwritten and managed by a recognised international accountancy firm.

These bonds will be tradable, interest bearing and will be redeemed over 10 years in annual instalments.

Taffs said the proposal would unlock value of the nation’s principal asset base and use that value to drive production, rapid economic growth, capital gain and job creation.

“On the back of the agricultural sector, supply and downstream industries will grow and thrive,” Taffs said.

He said if implemented, the model would also ensure that government will enjoy increased tax revenue and decreased dependency by citizens on direct support from Treasury.

Government however, maintains they have the best model in Africa which cannot be reversed or revised.


  • comment-avatar

    “Government however, maintains they have the best model in Africa which cannot be reversed or revised.”

    Really? How’s that working out for you? Are your people fat and happy and thriving? Because, that’s how you measure a successful land reform program.

    Seems like just the opposite is true. People are starving, FDI is fleeing and the country is slowly reverting to the bush.

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    Ndebvu Mukomichi 8 years ago

    My observation: There is no need to go back to the pre-2000 scenario or to recognise the legal niceties of its land ownership patterns. It should only be used to obtain adherence to the agreed positions of Lancaster with the help of the international participants who were the facilitators of the agreement. It is well-known that Zim gets cycles of bumber harvests and droughts, so any lack of food cannot be blamed solely on land distribution. Anyway govt is right to move forward and groom those on land, others with expertise can also participate as consultants and workers. This way our country will succeed and rise up to be the giant of Africa and the world -as per our destiny.

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      Che gue vhara 8 years ago

      So ndebvu ….. Have we had a 14 year cycle of drought ?
      Actually I think it is harder than anyone imagines because those with skills have lived off their capital or are now too old or not interested in farming anymore. I think corporate agriculture is the only answer to food security in the near term.

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      Umwrong 8 years ago

      Sure, but Zimbabwe has never had such a high percentage of people with food insecurity before. It is true that the previous farming scheme is impractical to reinforce or revisit, but even now former farmers are returning to derelict farms with the implicit consent of the government. It is my advice that Zim agriculture could use all of the help going forward that it can get.

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    munzwa 8 years ago

    The Govt. has no intention of dealing with any white, anyone for that matter, unless they pay the protection money. The CFU should realize this. How come some white farmers are still on the land if zanu is so aggrieved by this land issue…just let them get on with what ever they think is best and invest at your own risk…

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      Umwrong 8 years ago

      A few hundred whites, conservatively numbered around 500 or so, still operate in Zimbabwe because of their production numbers and intrinsic worth in the value and supply chain. It’s true that not all farmers were driven out.

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    Did the CFU say they want to reverse the land reform. Ana Made and all those so called Doctors in cabinet I wonder were you picked your doctorates from.

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    Talk about cutting off ones nose to spite ones face! I find it disgusting. pride before a fall. let people starve rather than engage all Zimbabweans. That is why the bible says if you let a root of bitterness grow up it defiles many. ZPF should just go and give Zimbabwe a chance. God have mercy on Zimbabwe.

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    Why the CFU who represent Commercial Farmers of all colour and not only as Made would have it white Zimbabweans, even bother to talk to a racial bigot like Made whose only interest in Agriculture is to protect his ill-gotten gains i.e. Farm and someone else’s home and every thing the Farmer had in this world, and Made still blabs on about land reform like sanctions just a load of ZANU-PF propaganda Garbage only taken in morons.

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    I personally think it’s time the CFU stepped back and let the cards fall where they may. The more they try to engage the unengageable Zanu pf the more they delay the winds of change. Munza has got it right.

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      Munza & jack it is bold statements you make and sadly they are true. Zanu pf want to hold all the cards. It would be interesting to let them hold all the cards with no other players. But then again they have been doing that and look where they are now. I believe the Zimbabwean people have played it right by refusing to turn Zimbabwe into a Somalia. I also believe we are at a crossroad. When you see soldiers (who are supposed to be taught discipline)breaking windows of banks there is cause for concern.So we have to hold hands and pray. We have to do what my brother Fallenz said. Ride on our buses together from Mount Darwin to Dotitto. From Detemba to Gwayi. We have to continue sitting around the fire and talk. OUR BUS AND OUR FIRE IS THIS WEBSITE.