via ZANU PF urged to rein in Mash Central land invaders | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Robert Mugabe’s party has been urged to rein in its supporters accused of leading a spate of worsening farm invasions in Mashonaland Central.
The land seizures have included the illegal takeover of Westheim Farm, a Centenary based property with Belgium investment, which is meant to be protected by a bilateral investment protection agreement (BIPPA) signed by both countries.
It is understood that the Belgium ambassador to Zimbabwe has raised the matter with the ZANU PF run government. SW Radio Africa was unable to contact the Belgian authorities for confirmation.
Meanwhile, nearby Tzoro Farm has been invaded by ZANU PF politburo member George Rutanhira who has confirmed that he is on the property. He told the Daily News newspaper that the land is his, by way of a government backed land reallocation process.
Farming activities there have all but shut down since Rutanhira seized the land. The Daily News reported that about 450 farm labourers have gone for three weeks without receiving their salaries while 100 children have dropped out of school.
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora condemned the land grabs, calling them “unlawful, unconstitutional, cruel and evil.”
“This shows that Zimbabwe is sliding back in chaos and anarchy. There is no consideration for the law, the constitution, or the livelihoods of farm workers,” Mwonzora said.
He urged ZANU PF to rein in its supporters and members who are responsible for the land grabs. But he added that he was not confident such a call would be heeded.
“This is an insensitive and unresponsive regime and I doubt if any pressure would do any good. So we as the MDC-T are calling on the people to resist these unlawful actions,” Mwonzora said.
Some other properties in Mashonaland West and Chegutu have also been targeted by land invaders in recent weeks, which come as the country is said to be heading for a serious food crisis. According to the United Nations more than two million rural Zimbabweans are in need of critical food aid.