When you sup with the devil…

To the gullible, it might appear as if the Zimbabwe government has come to
its sense at last and will now do what is necessary to revive the collapsed
agricultural sector by bringing back commercial farmers to work the land.

While, national security minister Didymus Mutasa says wh


ite farmers are
Zimbabweans “like everybody else” and therefore deserve to be given land,
thugs from his own party are still evicting farmers from Sebakwe Conservancy
just outside Kwe Kwe. Are these not also Zimbabweans – like everybody else?


This astounding policy U-turn by Zanu (PF) comes in the wake of successful
negotiations with the Commercial Farmers’ Union, whom many former commercial
farmers accuse of inertia during the land invasions and collaboration since
then. The Union, according to Mutasa, ‘now appreciates the government’s land
policy’.


Mutasa is on record as saying that he does not want to see a white person
owning land in Zimbabwe. Although he uses the word ‘ownership’ rather
loosely, it appears that, under the scheme, ownership of the land will
remain with the government and nobody, black nor white, will have security
of tenure.


While the CFU’s pragmatism in persisting to seek a way forward, where many
could see no possible way, is commendable, we would sound a note of caution.
The fact that evictions of commercial farmers continue to take place,
while Zanu (PF) persists in pursuing racist anti-white policies, is cause
for concern.


Nothing is being said, however, about the hundreds of thousands of farm
workers who were displaced during the farm invasions – losing not only their
jobs but also their homes.


Our sense of justice and fair play is discomforted by these ‘negotiations’.
There is no talk of compensation, there is no talk of restitution, there is
no talk of those beaten and murdered in the process of the ‘land
resettlement exercise’, there is no talk of the party fatcats who continue
to enjoy the fruits of ill-gotten gains, and have enriched themselves
obscenely by asset-stripping farms and estates all over the country.


When one sups with the devil, one needs a very long spoon.

News roundup 11/05/06
Don't be used - Tsvangirai tells forces

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