Evicted white Zim farmer 'was victim of racial discrimination, greed and abuse of power'

2017-12-08 06:00
Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

Picture: Frank Chikowore, News24

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Zimbabwe's new government ordered Thursday that land confiscated from a white farmer to give to an ally of former president Robert Mugabe must be returned.

Robert Smart, who grew tobacco and corn on his farm in Makoni in eastern Zimbabwe, was evicted in June after a former minister ordered that the plot be turned over to pro-Mugabe cleric Trevor Manhanga.

"(He) surrendered part of his farm during the land reforms and the G40 started racially profiling him to justify eviction," said Chris Mutsvangwa, a special adviser to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The G40, or Generation 40, was a faction of the Zanu-PF party, mainly younger members, once loyal to Mugabe's wife Grace.

"Smart and others were victims of racial discrimination, greed and abuse of power. Their farms were acquired outside the parameters of the law."

Brutal and arbitrary 

He added that the government was investigating other illegal farm takeovers.

Smart and his son Darryn were reportedly evicted by heavily armed men who beat farm workers and stole property.

In 2000 Mugabe launched the disastrous land seizure programme in which farms were forcibly taken from white farmers, officially justified as an effort to stimulate economic growth for black Zimbabweans.

The evictions, often brutal and arbitrary, were blamed for a collapse in agricultural production and chronic food shortages that forced the one-time breadbasket of Africa to become dependent on imports of staples.

Economic output fell by half following the start of the land seizures, as more than 4 000 of the country's 4 500 white farmers were stripped of their land.

Mnangagwa, who replaced Mugabe last month following a military takeover, has vowed to revive the country's economy by lifting agricultural production and attracting foreign investment.

In his inauguration address, he also pledged that his government would compensate white farmers whose land was seized by Mugabe.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  grace mugabe  |  emmerson mnangagwa  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.