ZIMBABWE’S white former farmers are trickling back to their land, this time as tenants to black farmers, officials from the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition parties claimed Monday.
George Makombe, a top official of the ruling party and liberation war fighter, said reports of black farmers renting out the land they repossessed from white farmers two decades ago are true.
“Yes, there are resettled farmers in underhand dealings with returning white farmers to whom they are renting out land. But very soon, the government and ZANU-PF will expose them,” Makombe said.
Tendai Biti, vice president of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change Alliance, made similar claims to the media recently.
“A cursory study of the land reform process shows the massive existence of leases of acquired land to former white farmers,” said Biti.
“Mashonaland West and the Midlands provinces have the highest number of white lessees. That being the case, the land reform is now a joke.”
Apparently angered by the way resettled farmers are handling the farms they received during the country’s land reform program, Makombe said “we have among our people, even the most educated, those who think being African is a curse.”
“Some think white farmers are the answer to their problems with the paltry percentages they are given for the use of their land,” he added. – AA ■