Mali leader hails Zim’s ‘successful’ land reforms

2015-06-18 16:18
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. (File: AFP)

Ibrahim Boubacar Keita. (File: AFP)

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Cape Town – Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita has hailed Zimbabwe's land reforms, saying he was amazed by what he referred to as "success stories" of the country's land programme.

Keita, who is in Zimbabwe on a three-day state visit, said this after touring a dairy farm owned by President Robert Mugabe and his family in Mazowe.

"Giving land to the people is one of the ways through which African countries can gain full economic independence," Keita was quoted as saying by the state-owned newspaper, The Herald.  

Keita urged Africa to emulate the southern African country's land programme, saying "this is the way things should be done if we want to be independent".

Great Pan-Africanist

Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party launched the land reform programme in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.

The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation struggle.

Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

Earlier this week, Keita described Mugabe as "a great Pan Africanist" committed to African unity.

Keita is not the only African head of state to have praised the veteran leader, as Namibian President Hage Geingob also recently described the veteran leader as his icon.

According to a Herald report on Wednesday, Mugabe was not only popular among fellow African leaders, but was also seen as a hero by the ordinary populace.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  robert mugabe  |  ibrahim boubacar keita  |  zimbabwe  |  mali  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe land reforms  |  west africa

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