Farmers angry over Mugabe daughter land grab

2014-09-26 16:44
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is seen at Harare International Airport in early March. (Desmond Kwande, AFP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe is seen at Harare International Airport in early March. (Desmond Kwande, AFP) (Desmond Kwande)

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Harare - Reports that a white family was thrown off their farm to make way for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's 24-year-old daughter have angered the debt-ridden country's commercial farmers.

"The continuing arbitrary takeover of land is not doing us any good," Charles Taffs, president of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), told AFP on Friday.

"There is no money to bring the economy back on its feet and there is no access to international support."

Taffs said he could not confirm media reports that Bona Mugabe was involved in the eviction of the family from their land in the eastern Goromonzi district by security agents on Wednesday.

"But it would appear some very senior people are involved," he said.

"We are doing everything we can to give the country a positive image and behind us we are getting new evictions without due process. This is going to cause extensive damage," he added.

Bona Mugabe, the 90-year-old president's only daughter, was given a lavish wedding party attended by 4 000 guests at his private home when she married Simba Chikore, a pilot, in March.

Mugabe allies

Mugabe's supporters launched a wave of farm seizures in 2000, which were later adopted as government policy in which white farmers were evicted to resettle blacks.

The land reforms drastically reduced agricultural production, as most of the beneficiaries lacked both farming equipment and expertise.

Critics also say the seizures mostly benefited Mugabe's allies.

Although under the land reforms an individual is not allowed to own more than one farm, Mugabe's wife Grace reportedly owns several.

Zimbabwe's economy has been on a sharp downturn for more than a decade and the International Monetary Fund warned this week it would not extend fresh loans until the cash-strapped country repays its debts.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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