Little England Farm decimated

via Little England Farm decimated | The Financial Gazette Clemence Manyukwe 19 Dec 2013

LITTLE England Farm, once a thriving agricultural enterprise in Mashonaland West has been decimated following its acquisition during the land reform programme.

While the 6 000 hectare property was initially occupied by ordinary people in Zvimba District following its compulsory acquisition by government, most of them were booted out in 2004 and 2005, before it was subdivided and allocated mostly to State employees.A recent Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) dossier named a High Court judge as one of the beneficiaries at Little England.

This week, the Financial Gazette witnessed little activity on the farm where former owner Graham Smith was involved in cattle rearing and farming activities before the property was seized for distribution to landless blacks in 2000. During its heydays, those passing through the main Harare-Chinhoyi road could witness cattle grazing side by side with giraffes on its lush fields, but some parts of the farm are now pictures of utter desolation.

ZANU-PF Zvimba East lawmaker, Francis Mukwangwariwa, under whose constituency the farm falls, cited the lack of capital, the settling of some people illegally on parts of the property and difficulties in getting offer letters as among the challenges affecting production at the farm.

“There is a problem of funding, if banks and government could help. The government has three months in office, so let’s wait for the budget and see what comes out for farmers,” said Mukwangwariwa.

“Some people think that if a new Member of Parliament comes he should solve everything overnight. No, it is a process,” he said, adding that those illegally occupying some parts of the farm should be evicted after the rainy season.

One elderly man the Financial Gazette interviewed at the farm gave a number of reasons why things have taken a bad turn at Little England Farm.

“A farm is like your second wife, you can’t manage it through a cell phone. The white man had a (qualified and experienced) manager, a foreman, but now our farmers send a son waiting for his final school results to be the manager,” said the elderly man who declined to be named.

“Capital is also a problem. The people here switched from Patrick Zhuwawo to Mukwangwariwa with the belief that he would help them to mobilise inputs. Poverty is a problem (here).”

In his welcome address to the just ended ZANU-PF national conference, Mashonaland West provincial chairperson Temba Mliswa alluded to the need for government to scale up food aid saying hunger was stalking the nation.

He made a passing reference to low activity on most properties in the province where Little England is also located.

Apart from once being one of the province’s striving farms, it is also at the same property where former white farmers were captured on American news channel, Cable News Network, making donations to MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Little England Farm is not the only once striving farm that has hit hard times.

Kondozi farm in Manicaland which used to specialise in horticulture for exports was handed to Chris Mushohwe, the Provincial Minister for Manicaland, and he has struggled to bring production to levels that obtained before it was acquired as part of the land reform process.

Kintyre Estate near Norton is also now a shadow of its former self after its former white farmers were booted out.-



  • comment-avatar
    Antonio Delgado 8 years ago

    It’s the same with every farm parceled out to new non- farmers, production collapses along with the farm…..
    You reap what you sew was never truer

  • comment-avatar
    mucha 8 years ago

    SHOCKING REVELATIONS………, “it is also at the same property where former white farmers were captured on American news channel, CNN, making donations to MDC-T leader, Morgan Tsvangirai.”

    Tsvangirai receiving donations? Was he a charity case?

    Say “he was captured selling Zimbabwe” – in Judas Iscariot-style.

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    simon 8 years ago

    there is nothing wrong donationg to a party…. so what? at least he wasn’t being forced to donate unlike zanu pf who force even struggling people to donate!!!!!! It comes as no surprise to read that farms are decimated. Where ever this has happened in Africa is same result. Look at Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and even in South Africa although South africa compensate for now. All these places went to the dogs. One needs proper commercial farmers to farm in order to produce. not part time weekend visitors on cells phones as mentioned!!!

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    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Mucha – some white farmers and businesses have always donated cash or kind to ZANU PF. Some continued and many stopped then resumed after 2000. The only difference is that ZANU does not publicise. And in the early days of land invasions, there were chefs who made money from extortion of white farmers via monthly protection money. Not to mention names like the Joshis, van Hoogstraten and other revolutionary ZANU PF allies. In truth, the switch from neutrality and/or support for ZANU to support for the MDC, that and the transportation of farm-workers to vote No in the referendum is what triggered ZANU to suddenly remember (or fall back on) the unresolved land question, 20 years after independence. Yesterday’s squatters suddenly became land liberators. The rest became history – and an evolving strategy, using land invasions first to block MDC influence spreading (in those early days, like wildfire) into the rural areas, then later as an effective propaganda tool to mobilise support inside and outside Zimbabwe for what had become a pariah state. But then, I’m sure you /we know all this. It just bears re-stating when statements like yours give good cause. So, no charity case – all parties around the world depend in part on donnors.

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    dayford 8 years ago

    Zanu PF has done nothing but ruin our economy in the last 33 years. Now is the time to find solutions to the problem that is Zanu PF.

  • comment-avatar
    moyokumusha 8 years ago

    show me one former white owned farm that is as productive as it used to be. As for who people donate to, it is their ‘democratic’ choice (if they have that).

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    Parangeta 8 years ago

    Why do people use the word “chef” when they should use “chief”. Ignorance?

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 8 years ago

    Your concern of ignorance is misplaced, Parangeta. Although it has since been Anglicised in spelling to chef, the Portuguese word ‘chefe’ came with ex combatants from Mozambique.

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    Frank 8 years ago

    About 15 mths ago i drove past Kondozi Farm and could not believe my eyes when i saw maize being grown in greenhouses which once housed export flowers and vegetables.My african associates remarked,”bigshot idiot”!

  • comment-avatar
    Zeezee 8 years ago

    Greenhouses are meant to keep maize warm and not for exported produce, Frank surely you should know that…ha ha ha

  • comment-avatar
    DubboZimbo 8 years ago

    Maybe it’s export quality maize in the green houses……ROFLMAO

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    Cherick Smith 5 years ago

    Oh no my farm 🙁