Govt yet to learn from land chaos

via Govt yet to learn from land chaos – NewsDay Zimbabwe June 15, 2015

The torturous economic ruin that followed the chaotic land reform programme seems to have taught the government nothing.

According to a report we carried last Saturday, a thriving flower farm near Goromonzi has fallen victim to the madness that has gone unabated for the past 15 years.

One hundred and fifty workers are on the verge of losing their jobs after a suspected Central Intelligence Organisation official Timothy Muyambo reportedly declared himself the new owner of Little Flower Farm a week ago.

Muyambo has forced the owner of the property to flee as he fears for his life and has thrown the future of farm workers into uncertainty.

The owner of the farmer, Mathew Hopgood, believes dependants of employees on the verge of losing their jobs are around 225.

However, what is more disconcerting is that the farm that is being forcibly taken over is an exporter of horticulture products and already processing of exports has been put on hold.

Zimbabwe is battling to find solutions to the worsening decline of exports precipitated by the collapse of industry and the falling production on farms yet it cannot deal with the root cause of the malaise.

The loss of exports from Little Flower Farm is not likely to be compensated because Western buyers of the flowers who constitute the majority are sensitive to issues of human rights violations.

Little Flower Farm exports 180 boxes of flowers weekly and close to two tonnes of peas and by no means, that was no small operation.

It goes without saying that the buyers would not want to be associated with Little Flower Farm and its “new owners”. The biggest loser would be Zimbabwe, which would relinquish yet another important export market.

The government has been at pains to explain that property rights are respected in Zimbabwe, but in the end, it is actions that would tell the true story.

Muyambo’s takeover of the property is not a testament to a respect for the rule of law.

Hopgood was reportedly assured by Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs minister Biggie Matiza that his farm would not be seized and the farm owner went on to plant crops on the strength of that ministerial undertaking.

The invasion was reportedly aided by police officers, according to witnesses, and this can only signal the collapse of the rule of law.

At a time the top government official was invading the farm, the government was busy seizing land from those who were given vast tracts of land, but are not able to utilise it.

President Robert Mugabe is on record bemoaning the fact that the majority of people given land are not putting it to proper use hence the perpetual decline in food production.

The country’s unsustainable import bill continues to balloon because the agriculture sector mainly is not performing to expectations yet the government appears intent on continuing on a destructive path of allowing the chaos to persist.

Any hopes that the government has realised the error of its ways with the unplanned land reform programme would be shattered with the developments at Little Flower Farm.


  • comment-avatar
    mapengo 7 years ago

    In the week when the world celebrates the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – the first ever official document to embrace the rule of law and the rights of the citizens to rule by law – Zimbabwe continues to embrace lawlessness.

    We are a country that has laws, but these laws do not apply to a ruling clique who are able to do what they like with impunity. Such actions are frequently to the detriment of the nation at large and the ordinary citizens so affected. The forcible take-over of Little Flower Farm is such an action.

    If Zimbabwe continues to follow the path of lawlessness, we will soon decline to the most primitive form of society, governed by predation and conflict.

  • comment-avatar
    R Judd 7 years ago

    The expectation that Zanu can learn is very hopeful indeed. Experience says the government becomes more stupid with each passing day

  • comment-avatar

    Learn? Really? Farming has been totally decimated by people who are selfish and will not mind everyone starving while they loot. It is risky to take any promise by these politicians seriously. The biggest of the lot appeared on tv and professed acceptance of the No vote in 2000. Everyone knows what followed after that. There was brutality, murder and uttermost chaos sponsored by the state. Never take rogue governments seriously. Until there is change of government there will be no rule of law. Without certainty and rule of law fdi will never be a reality. It is really sad that the change means changing almost every organ of the state. Very few of the present lot can be reformed.

  • comment-avatar
    sekuru mapengo 7 years ago

    The world is celebrating the 800th year of the signing of the Magna Carta, the first ever official document to set in place the Rule of Law.
    It is considered a great milestone in human and social development; it guaranteed that all men would be ruled by a set of laws rather than be subject to the arbitrary whims of the rich and powerful.
    The forced takeover of Little Flower Farm has been done without any due process or sanction in our law courts.
    It takes zimbabwe back over 800 years into jungle law.
    It heralds a society governed by fear and predation.