Farm re-allocated

High court judge, Nicholas Mathonsi issued a stunning verdict, in a case involving Fungai Chaeruka, a Zanu (PF) member. After being evicted from his farm for underutilisation, Chaeruka appealed the government’s decision. The farm has been re-allocated – shock, horror – to its former white owner, Heather Guild.

Judge Mathonsi said ‘one cannot be allowed to hold on to large tracts of land that one is not using, simply to baby-sit an inflated ego. If a beneficiary is not using the land, that is breach of the conditions upon which the land is offered.’ Of the 498 hectares, only one was in use.

Travelling along the country’s major highways, one sees only grass flourishing where crops once grew. With all the vast stretches of grassland, one would expect an increase in cattle ranching, but the national herd has shrunk, since Zanu (PF)’s chaotic land reforms began.

At a time when Zimbabwe faces a critical food shortage, it remains to be seen whether Mathonsi’s ruling signifies a policy shift on indigenisation.

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