Farm attacks continue

It is with dismay, but not unexpected that the persecution and attacks on our members continues and indeed in recent days has increased despite our continued calls to Government for immediate relief.

In the last two months alone our members have suffered murder, eviction, extortion as well as theft of their personal property in some cases in full view of the Police, the very people who are mandated to maintain peace and stability as well as ensuring the rights of all citizens.

After 11 years this situation unfortunately has become the norm hardly raising a worthy news story let alone headline status. Let us be absolutely clear, what is happening on the land is blatant human rights abuse based on the selective application of the law against an ethnic group. It breaks every moral and ethical code that our Government has ever signed up to either in our Constitution or the GPA and is in direct contravention to the United Nations Charter for the protection of human rights.

It is therefore no wonder that our country is facing such dire financial challenges with little hope of escaping from poverty when all its citizens are subjected to such constant abuse.

We have entered an agriculture season, which in our view is the least prepared for in over 50 years. Growers of all sizes, and from all backgrounds have no security; there is little funding available for inputs and their ability to plan have been removed due to the constant threat of eviction. Zimbabwe is going to suffer massive food shortages next year and the concern must be who is going to assist us this time around. For the last 11 years we have survived on food hand outs, but the world is changing, many of our traditional donor friends are no longer in a financial position to donate millions of dollars to fund our basic food deficits, possibly leaving us the Zimbabwean people, at the mercy of countries who have no concern or feeling for Zimbabwe and its citizens, but whose only interest is to plunder our natural resources.

This status quo can no longer continue, for the sake of our country let us put this land issue to bed, once and for all. It is the unresolved land issue that is holding this country to ransom by perpetuating the negative image of Zimbabwe on the world stage and highlighting our country’s disregard for property rights which is ultimately preventing any foreign direct investment with the resulting collateral damage affecting all sectors.

We need urgently to create mechanisms to compensate those who need to be compensated, restore sound property rights, create an active land market, and get inflows of money into the productive sector, with the ultimate aim of getting Zimbabwe working again. Zimbabwe has the land, the natural resources, the water, the expertise, the best infrastructure in Central Africa outside of South Africa together with a highly educated and motivated population. We ask our leaders; please give us the stability and policy that will return this economy to again be the power house of the region.

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