Resettled farmers lease farms

via Resettled farmers lease farms – The Zimbabwe Independent July 31, 2015

IN what is further evidence that Zimbabwe’s chaotic land reform programme has largely failed, a significant number of resettled farmers are increasingly leasing land to former white commercial farmers, the Zimbabwe Independent has learnt.

Elias Mambo

Although the practice is prevalent countrywide, it is rampant in the Mashonaland provinces, particularly the prime farming region of Mashonaland Central.

Most of the resettled farmers involved in the practice are operating under the pretext that they are in partnership with the white farmers when in fact they have failed to farm.

Several resettled farmers in Mashonaland Central are leasing out their A2 farms to white farmers after failing to productively utilise the land for over a decade. The farmers are reportedly afraid of losing the land following threats by government to take back unproductive land after instituting a land audit, hence the move to lease out land to give a false impression they are productive to keep them.

Investigations by the Independent show that a large number of black farmers — including war veterans and senior civil servants — are leasing farms for varying periods around the country.

Most of the farmers leasing the land were violently kicked off farms during the country’s land reform programme which started in 2000. Less than 300 white farmers remain out of about 4 500 before the programme which government recently admitted has failed.

Some of the white farmers have made investments on the farms after getting long-term leases, installing expensive state-of-the-art equipment such as centre pivots and trolley barns that cost between US$100 000 and US$500 000 each.

In return, resettled farmers are reportedly charging US$100 per hectare. Some of the beneficiaries of the land reform programme are leasing out their entire farms.

Commercial Framers’ Union director Hendrick Olivier confirmed the development, adding resettled farmers who are leasing out land admit their failure to utilise the farms productively.

“This is being done countrywide and it is a clear admission that the resettled farmers lack the means or funding to fully utilise the land,” Olivier said.

In some cases, resettled farmers are said to be demanding a percentage of the produce harvested.

In January government made a major climbdown and now allows farming joint ventures between black farmers and former white commercial farmers. It now also allows contract farming. President Robert Mugabe and Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko have also admitted land reform failures.


  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    “…are leasing out their A2 farms to white farmers after failing to productively utilise the land for over a decade.”

    But…but…we were told that the farms would be productive and cranking out export-quality crops within 5 years of being resettled.

  • comment-avatar
    Charlie Cochrane 7 years ago

    ….white trash working for black trash! Where is your loyalty to your white brothers, dead or scattered to the four corners of the world. Shame on you!

  • comment-avatar
    Tommy 7 years ago

    Cochrane if a farm has been sitting idle for 10 years and you pay the white owners with title deads rent, plus a percentage goes to the war vets so you can operate in this challenging environment, then whats the problem? This is the typical attitude of making a plan!!

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    former farmer 7 years ago

    Charlie Cochrane, I fully agree with you. These white farmers are in effect aiding and abetting in a criminal act ( theft ) and will have to face the music one day. Running with criminals does not do them any favours. Shame on them.

    There are many who have thought of doing this but not done so on moral grounds and good for them.

  • comment-avatar

    Bizarre in the extreme – as usual in Zim. Maybe one of the weirdest countries in the world, for sure!

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    former farmer 7 years ago

    I agree with Charlie Cochrane and more bizarre is these are now the cfu members and the cfu have abandoned the rightful owners of the farms which is why I don’t pay them a penny in subs. Just look at what a former cfu president is now doing – providing a managerial service to the new farmers ????? beggars belief.