Govt spurns CFU overtures

HARARE - Government says it has no intention of re-engaging with the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), an independent membership-driven organisation which advances the interests of white farmers in Zimbabwe.

Agriculture minister Joseph Made told the Daily News in an interview recently that overtures by the CFU to work with government to establish a Land Commission was coming a little too late.

He said government was no longer interested in cooperating with the former white commercial farmers because they previously spurned his proposals for re-engagement.

“They (CFU) are going from place to place talking about re-engagement but we are saying our main preoccupation at the moment is seeing to it that we have produced enough to feed the country,” Made said.

“I personally tried to engage them for more than six times at the expense of meeting other unions but they insisted that the CFU did not represent individual farmers as they had chosen to go it alone,” said Made.

Made said CFU had the right to express their opinion on the current agriculture model but could not lecture government on the need to provide a conducive environment for agricultural development, as well as restoring investor confidence in the country.

“Now, after completing the land reform programme, we cannot be seen concentrating on a union whose membership is negligible,” Made said.

“They must focus on their membership or join other unions to form one single union.

“They have made their point to us but we need to be reasonable. The land reform programme is irreversible

“Instead of making such proposals, CFU should be calling for the removal of sanctions because they were imposed on the country the moment we embarked on the programme to empower our people.”

Last year, CFU presented a proposal to government seeking to persuade authorities to reconsider their position on the issue of land “to create a win-win situation, without financially prejudicing the country and its people”.

CFU president Charles Taffs, told the Daily News they had presented to government a model that will guarantee security of tenure, access to affordable credit and long-term investor confidence to new farmers.

The first step in the proposal was that the government acknowledges the debt owed to former farmers as compensation for their farms.

It proposes that for every title deed held by former farmers, bonds will be issued to a value corresponding to the value of the farm.

The bonds will be internationally underwritten and managed by a recognised international accountancy firm.

These bonds will be tradable, interest bearing and will be redeemed over 10 years in annual instalments.

Taffs said the proposal would unlock value of the nation’s principal asset base and use that value to drive production, rapid economic growth, capital gain and job creation.

“On the back of the agricultural sector, supply and downstream industries will grow and thrive,” Taffs said.

He said if implemented, the model would also ensure that government will enjoy increased tax revenue and decreased dependency by citizens on direct support from Treasury.

Government however, maintains they have the best model in Africa which cannot be reversed or revised.

Comments (7)

I don't own a farm or piece of land but what the CFU are saying is that they want payment for land in Afrika stolen by their settler forefathers. These whites refused to see reason when they spurned the willing buyer willing seller model proposed by the government before, just like what the Boer community SA is doing today. We have some whites today like Nigel Weller of National Foods, Bulawayo who has openly told a whole department that he shall fire them and replace them with a white workforce. Its whites with a mentality like this, who justify expropriation of resources from the white community but alas those with the mandate to administer the allocations fair very badly to the point of creating a hunger environment. At age 50 I might never live to see fruition of the land revolution, but our descendants may be owners of their own destiny thanks to the chaotic but necessary land reform programme. In any case, these old men are not immortal and shall quit one day and true democracy shall be realised. I once read on the net about the'' mommon or Latter day saints church ''doctrine which believes that a black man is the descendant of satan and shall forever be subservient to the descendants of Jesus , the whites. Blacks, back then were forbidden to join this church except if they subjected themselves to being forever the servant of a white master. Some of these white people honestly believe that a black man can never manage without white involvement. Its unfortunate, a few greedy powerful blacks are lending credence to this warped school of thought by not wanting to work towards advanced black nationhood. They just want to amass resources for personal aggrandisement at the expense of nation building and advancement.

top heavy - 10 January 2014

What a load of utter rubbish you have written. Your ignorance is as shameful as that of Made. No wonder there is a complete disaster.

Adam - 10 January 2014

What load of utter rubbish are talking about. He is expressing his own opinion which resonates with the indigenous thinking. Rather you seem to be the load of rubbish

peter seru - 11 January 2014

What load of utter rubbish are talking about. He is expressing his own opinion which resonates with the indigenous thinking. Rather you seem to be the load of rubbish

peter seru - 11 January 2014

Yes we needed land distribution, but the land should have distributed properly and to real black or zimbabwean farmers, maybe we need to nation build properly and not colour build, which seems to be our main problem in our zimbabwe we are moving backwards, importing food when we are capable of feeding ourselves, let us not politisise the land issue.

chenje - 11 January 2014

Adam, I did not insult anyone and it would do this platform some dignity if you responded with an opinion as opposed to an insult. Its your choice to want to think with a white mentality and in any case its not criminal, its your right. Peter Seru, big up for being democratic.

top heavy - 11 January 2014

Adam is a bleeding racist who has been feeding from a silver and gold plate of black people. Go to England my friend or submit to our positive changes. Land and minerals to Africans not European settlers. Top Heavy is a well educated African who expresses himself in a sophisticated and more civilised shape as compared to your backward stone age mentality. Idiot.

Matanda - 13 January 2014

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