War veterans blight noble cause

HARARE - If there is one rallying purpose protagonists of the agrarian reform trot out more than any other, it is to prove that the indigenous people are as competent and adept in agricultural production as the erstwhile owners of farmland they dispossessed.

Cabinet ministers have often retailed the notion that the land reform programme has almost attained final stages of hemming together frayed edges in order to unlock its full potential as evidenced by the recent issuance of settler permits.

To reinforce this notion, agrarian reform success rests on stability on the land already allocated to farmers without undue disruptions.

On the contrary, the terrifying situation emerging on black-owned farms in Masvingo Province appears to be getting out of control.

Indigenous black farm owners are experiencing hell on earth from misguided independence war participants.

A credible assumption points to envy and greed among people who do not believe in the enterprise and success of others.

In Matabeleland, Zanu PF supporters  have invaded Mazwi Nature Reserve owned by Bulawayo City Council and have vowed to stay put despite the party insisting it is against the invasion.

When invaders openly scoff and snub party leaders’ instructions to vacate the nature reserve while vowing that Zanu PF or no Zanu PF, they would stay put, it gives the impression of collusion between invaders and those that purport to condemn it.

This in itself is enough to infuriate party apparatchiks who want to see a seamless method of land allocation in place so that they can  thumb their noses at doom sayers.

Government had set methods of proper land allocation and legal ways of acquiring land without disrupting those already in possession of it.

But there are other gangsters of dubious war credentials that display misplaced conservative radicalism who believe government  gave them a carte blanche to grab land.

This is surely not what President Robert Mugabe would want to align himself  with, considering the irreparable damage it inflicts on farmers who have invested their financial effort in proving that  they can justify the cause for agrarian reform.

On-going land invasion contradicts the vaunted success that the agrarian reform has so far achieved.

One would believe that in a country rooting for food security as one of the main goals enunciated in its economic blueprint poor judgment and perception among marauding bands of so-called independence war fighters are in no small measure reversing the gains of the land reform programme and what it seeks to achieve.

It is time for government to rein in the dominant misconception among its foot soldiers that they have sole monopoly to land.

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