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Canaan Banana’s family appeals to Govt for a farm

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  • In contrast, Robert Mugabe's family amassed seventeen farms during his thirty years after replacing Banana.

By Mutsa Makuvaza

THE family of independent Zimbabwe’s first President Canaan Banana still does not have a farm and several appeals by the family to be allocated a farm have been ignored by Government, a Zanu-PF MP has said.

Banana died of cancer in 2003 in the U.K. where he had emigrated after a fallout with his successor, Robert Mugabe. His widow Janet came back from the U.K. when President Mnangagwa came into power, and is being cared for by the State.

Speaking in Parliament this Wednesday, the MP for Umzingwane, Levi Mayihlome (Zanu-PF) called on Government to expedite the application by the Banana family to be allocated a farm.

Mayihlome said “never mind whatever happened to him (Banana) but no one can take away his contribution to this country”.

“The former first President of this country, Canaan Banana – his family applied for land and it is over three years now.  No-one is pushing those papers. 

“We are concerned that this erstwhile President of this country still does not have land. He is a renowned fighter for this country and it is known. 

“Never mind whatever happened to him but no one can take away his contribution to this country,” said Mayihlome.

In contrast, Robert Mugabe’s family amassed seventeen farms during his thirty years after replacing Banana.

The Umzingwane legislator also asked the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Climate and Rural Resettlement Dr. Anxious Masuka to inform the House when all the four chiefs in Umzingwane District will be allocated farms.

“As a citizen, there is a chief who comes to beg to graze his cattle on my farm,” said Mayihlome. “It is not right that a chief under whose jurisdiction we are comes to beg for land and they are told to apply to the District land office.

“That is unheard of and they have been waiting for over 15 years. This is why I am raising it here in Parliament.”

Mayihlome said four chiefs in his constituency all applied for land and it is over 15 years that they have been battling to get land in Umzingwane. 

Other people who are not chiefs have been allocated land before them, he said. 

“The first one was allocated a homestead – just a homestead and no arable land and yet we expect chiefs to have isiphala seNkosi.

“The other chief was allocated land in another chief’s jurisdiction and this complicated things – they had to look for another farm for her. 

“On the third chief, there was duplicate allocation; two more people where allocated that same piece of land with the chief. 

“The fourth chief who is now deceased never got the land. The family is now asking about that,” said Mayihlome.

In response, Masuka said the policy of Government was that there is no discrimination or special favour in terms of allocation of land. 

“There is no special dispensation allowed for this category. However, every citizen is free to follow the procedure to apply for land.

“In this regard, I recommend that they approach the District Lands Committee and they be queued for possible allocation especially now that we are looking for underutilised and derelict land.” – Zimbabwe Voice 🔺

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