Land occupiers evicted

HARARE - The Zimbabwe government will allocate new land to thousands of families who are being evicted for illegally occupying farms not earmarked for acquisition under the controversial land reform programme, a cabinet minister said here this week Lands and Land Reform minister Didymus Mutasa said

the move has been taken to “make way for a systematic land redistribution programme”.
He said other areas protected under the bilateral investment agreements were not supposed to have been taken in the first place.
Government began evicting thousands of families last week who have occupied commercial farms, conservancies and church land that was not earmarked for acquisition under the country’s land reform programme. The move has angered many new farmers who are charging that the move underlined how chaotic the whole programme has been.
More than 120 occupants on unlisted farms were removed last week, and the evictions are continuing.
Invasions of mainly white-owned farms started more than six years ago when President Robert Mugabe stepped up a controversial land reform programme aimed at correcting imbalances in ownership that dated from the colonial era.
Despite making up just one percent of the population of Zimbabwe, whites owned around 30 percent of the country’s prime farmland.
Under the reforms, an estimated 95 percent of all land owned by some 4,500 white commercial farmers in Zimbabwe was be taken over, according to the Commercial Farmers’ Union. The CFU says government was attempting to woo back evicted white farmers but “most of them are not interested any more.” – Own Correspondent

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