Govt lists 23 white-owned farms for seizure

HARARE - Government yesterday listed 23 white-owned commercial farms it has targeted for confiscation as government moves to take over all the remaining white-owned farms.

The announcement was made in a State newspaper and listed the identities of the farms earmarked for seizure.

“It is hereby notified that the minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement acquires for and on behalf of the State, the land identified and described in the schedule for purposes of agriculture settlement under Section 72 (2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” the notice said.

“Further take notice that the ownership of the acquired land with full title therein vested in the State is with effect from the date of publication of this notice in the Government Gazette.”

Officials said the deadline would allow new black owners of the land enough time to prepare and plant for the new crop season, which should start in October.

White farmers defying the order to leave their land face up to two years in jail.

In a speech to supporters of his ruling Zanu PF party, President Robert Mugabe said the government was now looking at the totality of its land.

If others were allowed to own portions of it, he said, it would be out of charity — not as a result of colonial history.

“Don’t be too kind to white farmers,” Mugabe told supporters at a recent Zanu PF rally. “They can own industries and companies, or stay in apartments in our towns but they cannot own land. They must leave the land to blacks.”

This also comes amid reports that names of six Zanu PF-backing white farmers have been handed to central government seeking permission for them to remain on the farms under new laws safeguarding farms “of strategic economic importance”.

Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora said: “We have asked provinces to give us the names of white farmers they want to remain on farms so that we can give them security of tenure documents to enable them to plan their operations properly.”

Zimbabwe’s continuing land reform programme, a trigger for tightening Western sanctions against Mugabe and his top aides, is being driven to a climax amid a worsening food crisis.

Among those targeted for eviction are Brad Herzberg of Maguga in Umzingwane with a farm stretching 303 hectares, African Distillers Ltd for its Springvale Estate in Umzingwane, Timothy Andrew Cherry’s 114ha Woodlands property again in Umzingwane, Michael Lewis Gleman’s 101 ha farm.

Other properties listed for acquisition are Christopher Ladas’s 316ha farm in Umguza, Ismene Ekaterina Plangetis’ 95ha farm in Umquza and another 21ha farm in the same area, MetCargo Pvt Ltd’s 393 ha farm in Umguza, and several properties in Matobo, Mazowe, Marondera and Insiza.

Hendrik Olivier, director of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), which represents interests of thousands of evicted white farmers and the roughly 300 who remain, said some of the property are small-holder properties.

“It amazes that we continue to list properties for acquisition,” Olivier told the Daily News yesterday. “They continue looting these farms but we have not seen any significant compensation. Only 200 farms have been compensated (from over 4 000 farms seized) up to date. We see listings taking place and no compensation taking place, compensation should be paid in a reasonable time, is 15 years a reasonable time? We need to rebuild the agriculture sector.”

The renewed seizures come as Zimbabwe is facing its worst staple food crisis in a decade, with an estimated four million of its 13 million people at risk of starvation, according to the World Food Programme.

Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko in June said the new black farmers had gutted commercial agriculture and embarrassed Mugabe.

“It’s true that the resettled farmers have failed us,” Mphoko said. “They have put to shame our president. President Mugabe is being verbally abused everywhere because of the failed land resettlement.

“President Mugabe is now being forced to beg for food from neighbours. We were once the breadbasket of the region, but these farmers have destroyed the agriculture sector.”

Supporters of the president point to Zimbabwe’s colonial history, which left 70 percent of the land owned by the white 5 percent of the population, as justification for the land seizures.

At an international donors conference in 1998, the CFU agreed to sell back 2,5 million acres of land with another 12,4 million to follow in a phased plan. But international funding dried up after donor money was instead lavished on Mugabe’s cronies. Restless for a share of the land, the war veterans launched farm invasions in 2000.

With the 48-year-old David Cameron sweeping to a stunning May 7 election victory in Zimbabwe’s former coloniser Britain forming the first majority Conservative government since John Major’s surprise victory in 1992, Catriona Laing, the British ambassador to Zimbabwe, recently told the Daily News the new government will not support any compensation scheme set up to help evicted white farmers in Zimbabwe. In fact, the demand was met with scorn in Whitehall.

“The UK has never agreed to accept responsibility for compensation but we have always said that we would support a fair, transparent and pro-poor land reform programme as part of an international effort,” Laing said.

“The UK government supports, and will continue to support, the aspirations of the Zimbabwean people for a more democratic, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe.”

Comments (27)

Yet more racist behaviour from Mugabe.

Citizen - 15 August 2015

The last kicks of a dying horse (donkey). Cant you have hearts.

jojo - 15 August 2015

Several matters emerge from this appalling situation. Zanu pf has again re-iterated that their mob of kleptomaniacs are rabid anti-white racists. Catriona Laing, the British ambassador to Zimbabwe is a proven Mugabe arse-licker. She donates UK taxpayers money to Mugabe's thugs yet ignores the imperiled whites in Zimbabwe. We are reminded that Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku is a buffoon. He has recently chided his comrades for late judgments. Least we forget, Chidyausiku is the hypocritical idiot who still has to define “a reasonable period of time” after thirteen years of sleeping on the job. If proper justice ever prevails in the UK Catriona Laing will be incarcerated for life. She is an absolute disgrace to proper British values. Her partner needs to tell her the truth about herself.

James Khoffi Phiri - 15 August 2015

Mugabe the 92 year old fossil and despot is talking like a typical savage and barbarian . Most of these whites are Zimbabwean citizens with no other home. He labels the British racist yet he himself is practising the racism. Shame on him.

Antiracial - 15 August 2015

“They can own industries and companies, or stay in apartments in our towns but they cannot own land. They must leave the land to blacks.” This is a regurgitated and exhausted rhetoric whithout anymore appeal to the people which it is purported to impress. Preceeding land takeovers talk volumes to that effect. You repossesed farms and distributed them amongst youself and your ministers including their relatives. Many of you today own more than 2, 3. even 4 farms for prestige. For prestige because they are now stretches of land with no activity going on in them. Land should be possed for utilization, not for mere ownership. I need not remind you of what you know very well. You and your bunch of ministers have no plan how to effectively use our land resource. After 35 long years even the dumbest of leaders should have seen the farms producing better than before even against odds. The rhetoric and blame game does not help us at all. We want action or else if you have no ideas, no plans, give capable people a chance to lead and capitalize on this valuable resource (land) for the benefit of the country.

Masamba ASkareyo -Tanganda - 15 August 2015

A couple of weeks ago I thought they announced giving farms back to some white farmers? Why not admit - Varungu vanga vakatsigira economy - pavakaenda hupfumi hauchina kumuira mushe?

Misodzi - 15 August 2015

The latest western diplomatic idiot to drop RGM's rods for a kiss is the new naive Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Suzanne McCourt. She thinks that the despots latest promulgations will stimulate Australian investment in Looney Zimboland. Is McCourt a Magic Mushroom consumer? McCourt needs to understand that this Despot WILL NEVER change his tyrannical missions.

Aziz Pahad - 16 August 2015

God forbid! Who will rid us of this racist madman? Even his fellow Zanoids know that he is barking mad.

kwv - 16 August 2015

More racism. Mugabe is determine to destroy Zimbabwe completely.

Ruth Bonikki - 16 August 2015

You ruthless Zanu PF guys kutora minda kuti mugovane pahukama hwenyu.... Mugabe wauraya nyika vakomana... leave the farms alone. Now we buying maize from Zambia from the same white farmers you chased away. 2018 Change is what we want.

Paradzai - 16 August 2015

Our country needs prayers not shouting matches. Madness is now the order of the day and we cannot rest until these unreasonable leaders own that they have actually messed the economy not the British. The country is being led to the Mbuya Nehanda era just wait and see!!! karo

Karo - 17 August 2015

And we can expect ZA to fork out billions to help this failed state become an even more failed state, while Zim citizens treat ZA like a free shopping area.

Jakes - 17 August 2015

Just last week they were talking about attracting investors. Can you imagine investing in a country where the leader cannot remember what he said the previous day? The flips flops and U turns every time he opens his mouth.

Changamira - 17 August 2015

The mere fact that this senile madman still lives leaves me with no sympathy for those that are still being victimised in Zimbabwe!

Leslie Fivaz - 17 August 2015

I don't think anybody needs your sympathy. This is not the first country to be run by a Dictator nor will it be the last. We will come through it without anybody's sympathy.

Changamira - 17 August 2015

in destroying others, we destroy ourselves. It is called karma.

Eileen Thomas - 17 August 2015

this new news warms my heart, because I know that Evil can only go so far and then the LIGHT comes to wipe out the DARKNESS. Soon Mr Mugabe and all who have followed him for what they got from the deal will know the very real meaning of suffering. God Bless the innocents who will suffer too.

judith petrou - 17 August 2015

Mugabe's land seizure of these white-owned commercial farms is illegal to say the least and will result in starvation. The blacks he intends to give these farms to have no idea about farming and food production will deteriorate and the land will be overgrazed, GMO crops produced by way of chemical fertilisers. Mugabe is a madman and being encouraged by his wife and her Swiss bank account....?

Janet Tanner-Tremaine - 17 August 2015

Not one drop of aid (food or otherwise) should go to Zimbabwe as they have created this disaster. Let their people starve!

Maureen - 17 August 2015

Cde President,if we decide to cut off these british/white farmers,lets abandon British styles in our day to day lives,ie police,licencing,liquor licences....WHERE 1 NEED POLICE CLEARENCE,BLA BLA TO SELL BEER...y?in zw we are sick and tired of Smith's ways that zpf inherited in 1980,look at how workers were RECENTLY laid off, like slaves. educated zimbos are all over LONDON ,our country is neither here nor there.there is need to remove the British phobia from our country kunyanya mu gvt.lets use zimbabwean new styles from our own iniciatives in all sectors

noemiah - 17 August 2015

Who is going to feed the people of Zimbabwe, blacks included, Mr Mugabe? These farms that were the economy of Zimbabwe, are now lying fallow and reaping nothing, no food, and no money for the country. Wake up fellow Zimbabweans, only you can put this right, you know what you must do, don't leave it any longer

Tish Adams - 18 August 2015

move all foreign owned company's and people out of Zim, as well as the white Zim's. it wont take long for starvation to turn to civil war. then move back in with there blessing

mark - 18 August 2015

"Pride comes before a fall", just observe for a time and see.

Mark Stevens - 18 August 2015

Wha ha ha ha. See that there is a water crisis in Zim. Luckily this will not affect the white farmers in this country anymore. The people that will be invading these farms will grace from what ever is left on the lands until there is nothing left. They won't need water either as they will not plant anything. Well done. You guys are brilliant.

Werner - 19 August 2015

Can't wait for this country to become like Ethiopia. No food no nothing...... Just tears and hunger that was self inflicted...... Can't build nothing can just destroy......

Werner - 19 August 2015

GREAT move for social, economic and cultural justice people of Zimbabwe!, “Do You Have A Return Ticket?” by author Frank Weston

Frank Weston - 20 August 2015

Repatriate all whites to Europe and all blacks from Europe to africa. Let there be no coexistence.

hyena - 21 August 2015

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