Zimbabwe

Zim govt evicts 170 farmers just 8 months after granting them land – report

2016-12-26 13:00
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Harare - Zimbabwe’s government has reportedly evicted at least 170 A2 farmers from a Triangle Ranch in the Masvingo province, just eight months after granting them farmland. 

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the majority of those affected were diaspora returnees, widows, and national heroes' children.

The farm was reportedly owned by Tongaat Hulett before being given to the small scale farmers who were using at least 2 000 hectares to grow sugar cane with government support.

In a notice letter issued to the farmers, the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora said that the withdrawal of the offers had been made under the provisions of the land reform and resettlement programme.

"Following the notice to withdraw your offer letter and the representation which you made to that effect, please be advised that the minister...is withdrawing the land offer made to you in respect of subdivision...," Mombeshora was quoted as saying.

Contradictions 

Some of the farmers had since accused the government of not sticking to its promises.They claimed that they had made investment to the farms and were not being compensated.

The farmers' organisation, Triangle and Hippo Valley Farmers Association, said that the government was going against its own people.

According to unnamed sources the government was being pressured by "senior sugar business people" to evict the new farmers.

UK based lawyer Lloyd Msipa said that "the government had to address contradictions like these in land reform".

Reports indicated that  President Robert Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

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

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

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