100 white farmers targeted in Zimbabwe land grab

At least 100 white farmers have had their land targeted for seizure in Zimbabwe despite the new unity government.

The Commercial Farmers’ Union said that the eviction campaign had been stepped up.

The CFU’s director, Hendrik Olivier, said that the eviction campaign
was accelerating despite the formation of the unity government with the
Movement for Democratic Change, and that its targets had £70
million-worth of crops in the ground.

"About 100 are being done over now, maybe more. They are being fast-tracked for eviction and others are being forced out."

The initial land grab, which began in 2000, precipitated the country’s
collapse, as it destroyed commercial agriculture, the mainstay of the
economy, while Mr Mugabe used gifts of farms to shore up loyalty in his
divided party.

The Movement for Democratic Change, which last week started work in a
unity government, has promised a land audit and that seizures will
stop, in the knowledge that the country’s agriculture sector will be
key to its recovery. At the moment more than half the population needs
food aid and the farmers’ situation will be a key test for the
effectiveness of the power-sharing government.

But under President Robert Mugabe’s unilateral allocation of ministries
between the parties, both the justice and lands portfolios remain in
the hands of his Zanu-PF party.

Some farmers have fought back and obtained high court injunctions against those who have taken their land.

Only around 200 to 300 white farmers are left in Zimbabwe, as opposed
to 4,500 when the invasions began, and even then they have only small
portions of their original landholdings left.

Post published in: Economy

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