Zimbabwe

Zim judge: Use ex-white farms or lose them

2014-03-05 12:55

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Commission to probe factions diving Mugabe’s Zanu-PF
Commission to probe factions diving Mugabe’s Zanu-PF

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will set up a commission to probe allegations of factionalism threatening to divide his Zanu-PF party ahead of an elective congress in December, the party spokesperson says.

Cape Town - A Zimbabwean judge has reportedly told owners of former white farms to use the land or risk losing it.

According to The Telegraph, Judge Nicholas Mathonsi said this at the High Court in Harare as he denied an appeal by a member of the ruling Zanu-PF party against an earlier decision to allow Heather Guild, an evicted farmer, back onto a small part of her land.

At least 4 000 white farmers were evicted from their farms when President Robert Mugabe’s government embarked on a violent and controversial land redistribution programme in 2000.

Since then, agricultural production decreased dramatically and food shortages have continued to plague the country.

Mugabe’s government, however, attributes the food crisis to drought.

Judge Mathonsi described the failure to use land given out under the programme as “scandalous”, said the report.

Turning point

Judge Mathonsi said the policy of land reform was not recreational and that no one could be allowed to hold large tracts of land that they were not using.

The decision could mark a turning point in the long struggle by white farmers to be handed back their farms.

This comes as the country is said to be likely to experience another poor harvest despite normal to above rainfalls having been received during the 2013-2014 farming season.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, experts say a number of factors contribute to hunger in Zimbabwe, with poor agricultural practices remaining one of them.

Unavailability or high cost of agricultural inputs such as seeds and fertilisers, adverse weather and decrease in acreage have also remained major contributing factors.

- News24

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  zimbabwe land reforms

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