Land ‘reform’ haunts Marondera

Save for a few cosmetic changes time seems to have stopped for the agro-based town of Marondera since President Robert Mugabe’s land “reform” programme began almost a decade ago.


Thousands of people are out of employment as factories that closed soon after the land seizures fail to open. Massive unemployment affects the town’s revenue base.

FaraiNyandoro, the mayor , says the town is fast fading into a ghost.

“There is no development to talk about in Marondera. Investors are not keen to come back as our industries have been largely based on agriculture. In terms of infrastructure we are second to none, we have an excellent railway line and roads network, an airport and plenty of water. But we are not growing,” said Nyandoro.

The elaborate rail network now lies idle. Most people survive on vending and vice said Nyandoro.

“There is no formal employment to talk about. Many people are in the informal sector just living on odds and ends. Some used to work in the farms but there are no longer jobs since the resettled farmers are not capable of large scale farming,” he said. The capital town of Mashonaland East Province is struggling to pay for services such as electricity and water.

“We also struggle to pay our workers. Our monthly salary bill is over $300 000 but we only collect $280 000,” said the mayor.

Like the rest of the country, the town has been jolted by the Indigenisation and Empowerment Regulations, with the few remaining employers packing their bags.

“One of our biggest employers has left after Zanu(PF) officials demanded 51% shares. As a result many people lost their jobs,” said Nyandoro.

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