Research disputes state media ‘land reform’ claims

via Research disputes state media ‘land reform’ claims | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu on Friday, May 16, 2014

Contrary to claims by the state media that 300,000 families have so far benefited from the so-called ‘fast track land reform’ exercise, research has found that only half that number may have benefited.

Africa Check is an independent fact checking and news website founded by the AFP news agency and the Wits University School of Journalism. It says that official figures show only 169, 000 families may have benefited from the exercise since 2000.

Africa Check said research found that about 240,000 families had received land since 1980. The statistics were provided by Professor Sam Moyo who told Africa Check that ‘some of the beneficiaries have since divided their land to make room for other family members. Moyo, a land expert, sourced the figures from the ministry of lands and rural resettlement.

Africa Check’s Sintha Chiumia told SW Radio Africa that even those official figures are ‘uncertain’ because throughout her research she found that many people doubted the government’s authenticity with regards to land reform. Chiumia said official data lists only the number of people with offer letters for pieces of land, without giving details of whether those people had actually taken up those offers.

She added: ‘These are some the reasons why the long-promised audit of land ownership is needed, going back from the present day to before independence.’

Chiumia said further research into the ‘land reform’ exercise should ascertain the actual number of beneficiaries, patterns of ownership and how the land was being utilized.

Agricultural economist Professor Mandivamba Rukuni told the research that ‘a national land audit would clarify the situation once and for all by verifying and authenticating land records in the country.’

In 2008, ZANU PF and the MDC’s agreed to a ‘comprehensive, transparent and no-partisan land audit’, but that has not happened. Prior to the agreement there were three government-commissioned audits but they were all dismissed by the opposition and civil society.

The land reform exercise has always been contentious as it involved the expropriation of land from white Zimbabwean owners, which was then handed over to black Zimbabweans without any compensation to the original owner.

Apart from its non- compensation aspect, the exercise was heavily criticized for its violence, which saw farmers and their farm workers beaten and raped, and sometimes murdered in cold blood, with the state unwilling to intercede. Moreover, the exercise virtually destroyed commercial agriculture and reduced Zimbabwe’s international standing from food sufficient to a donor supported nation.

It is estimated that up to two million farm workers and their dependents were displaced and affected by the exercise.



  • comment-avatar
    Chaka 9 years ago

    Of course all good Zimbos have learnt not to trust what they say. A bunch of liars who easily get caught

  • comment-avatar
    Kabunga 9 years ago

    And in 2014 it still continues……the beatings, the evictions, the murders, the destruction of equipment and still the police and state are unwilling to intercede.

    If there ever was a land audit then all the powers that be will be exposed for the fraudulent ownership of more than one farm.

  • comment-avatar
    Saddened 9 years ago

    In 2008, ZANU PF and the MDC’s agreed to a ‘comprehensive, transparent and no-partisan land audit’, but that has not happened.
    Another example of the MDC-T’s failure to exert pressure on ZPF when they had the tools in their hands. But then again it’s always someone else’s fault!

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 9 years ago

    News flash!! Land reform isn’t working! I guess it might just have something to do with the fact that the biggest landowners in Zimbabwe are either politicians or their relatives. The majority of farm workers are now homeless or working for a pittance.

  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 9 years ago

    Prof Craig Richardson and John Robertson will give accurate scientific and economic evidence/data on the demise of the national economy and agriculture as it was systematically stolen and looted (like Kondozi) by Zanu thieves. Non other than Joseph Chinotimba and a bag of retired Generals were on the beneficiary list for the Save Conservancy! What about the Speaker of the Senate getting top citrus estates in Chegutu and the First Murderer and First Shopper (in Singapore this week?) getting one of the top dairy farms in Mazowe? And now we hear that the mango farm stolen by the western educated Zanu beneficiaries is now run by USA citizens and other properties are being sold to Chinese investors – this is a new form of Zanu indigenization and land reform?

  • comment-avatar
    ntaba 9 years ago

    The mango farm thieves are the Shamuyarira family.