Mnangagwa admits to land reform errors

HARARE - Emmerson Mnangagwa has admitted that the haphazard land reform programme caused a serious dip in farm productivity.

Zimbabwe went through a chaotic land redistribution in the early 2000s, which was meant to correct past historical imbalances.

This resulted in former white commercial farmers losing their farms to mostly the elite in Zanu PF.

While admitting that the exercise robbed Zimbabwe of its breadbasket status, Mnangagwa told the white community during a gathering at Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare yesterday that whatever happened now belongs in the past.

“In 1999 and 2000, we left the Commonwealth after quarrelling with Britain. As Zanu PF, we met with (then) president Olusegun Obasanjo in Abuja, Nigeria.

“At that time, it was said we should stop the land reform if we wanted to remain in the Commonwealth because it was chaotic and would disrupt the economy,” he said.

“I was minister of Justice at the time and I was able to advise my president (Robert Mugabe) at a Masvingo conference and we were in total agreement.

“We chose to leave the Commonwealth and pursue the land reform. Whether that was right or wrong, that is history.

“We corrected the land imbalance in the country. Now it is behind us.

“The critical thing is that during land reform, productivity collapsed totally, we moved from self-sufficiency to an insecure nation. We began importing — we became a beggar,” Mnangagwa said.

According to the Commercial Farmers Union, an estimated 250 000 herd of cattle were forcibly destocked as a result of the invasions that occurred during the land reform.

About 1,6 million hectares of grazing land were burnt out and commercial maize planting dropped to 45 000 hectares from 150 000 hectares by December 2001.

By February 2002, Zimbabwe which was once an exporter of grain received its first consignment of donated maize and emergency food distribution from the World Food Programme.

Mnangagwa said the task ahead for Zimbabwe was to make the land productive again as it was before the land reform.

He said the idea was to invite skilled personnel who are well-versed in new technologies currently being used in modern agricultural economies to help increase productivity.

The president also emphasised that there will be no new farm invasions or discrimination based on race in terms of who gets land.

“I met farmers and assured them that they should feel secure and invest because of the 99-year leases.

“The lease is renewable and everything possible has been done to make it tradable.

“This issue of new invasions is a thing of the past. I have told the leadership in the provinces that the rule of law must now apply.

“Some chefs were running down farms. Some are even on their fourth farm. They see a farm which is productive and seize it. That time is done. Many of us sitting here have acquired multiple farms.

“Everyone who has many farms should only have one.

“That must apply to everyone including myself and Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.

“No one should have a farm for his wife, children and grandchildren.

“We are downsizing the farms. We want to do away with the animal farm mentality,” Mnangagwa said.

Comments (9)

Those figures are false. The tenant farmer is not the one that got affected most but the land owners in Britain and the lender i.e Britain.

Regerai kufadza varungu - 22 July 2018

Muzanzi irikuda kuzvisunungura mumwe munhu arikutohumana zvake. Kwakukura , chese chese murungu , kana asipo hapana chinobuda...false. Vateresa havana basa nazvo, inyaya dzema skoti asingadiwo vanhu vatema , kwanzi torayi twuma asayirumu sicks twenyu hatichadi nenyika yedu. Ndosaka varikukupai mari kuti muvagamuchire 2019. Ukapinda mu randani , haumbowona murungu achikirina mubhoi ndiro basa rake , imagine , London havazi ma British , Ma foreigners anerusarura kudaro , nxa!!

Panenyaya apa - 22 July 2018

Varungu vadu na president wavo.

Jumbo lee - 22 July 2018

Mnangagwa do the right thing and buy the farm(S) you have.

Pangolin imhuka yataingosiya muchuru ichizviraramira - 22 July 2018

Ini angu haabatwe , ndakatenga ndega. Anechivindi ngaanopinda hake....kana vanepfuti.

Ini Save - 22 July 2018

It is very interesting to NOTE that pulling the country out of the Common Wealth (with its link to land plunder and resultant junk status) was a collective zanupf decision. Of-late they have been trying to blame everything on RGM

Sinyo - 23 July 2018

I think GB has moved on from that c'wealth garbage. How many people in modern Britain talk about c'wealth outside west minister and the c'wlth games ? , they will be Ozzs , Kiwis , Canadians , they are few. The big phrases are the EU , US Trade deal ,CHINA and South America. Immigration highlights the same too. Countries that are in the black commonwealth cant understand that one needs a visa to come to the EU , crossing the seas using dodgy boats , etc. THEY are not to blame though , but the criminal gangs on both continents...well and some EU regimes that sponsors the TRADE.

Husiku kurara - 23 July 2018

Technology is a luxury to many , it costs money , but before we do that ngatitangeyi nemagetsi kumaruwa. A serious farmer with a decent turnover , $2Mn+ , most are in the west , can afford to buy or develop their own tech solutions. The cost of R/D if its an agri tech business is more than that though , $15Mn at least and many years of research. Those companies are in the game for profit - can a small farmer in Shabani pay $5K a yr for a tech service ?....anenge achiwana mariiko?. A commercial farmer can happily part with $50k per year. Hatisati tasvika ikoko.Also dzidzai kuzviitira zvinhu zvenyu. The farmer is the one that should make a decision not a government.

Kurauwone rwendo - 23 July 2018

Farming the basics - A good tractors , the cost $190K. A good CH , the cost $300K. Technology is an extension from those. Matarakita aya anogona kufamba ega muminda kana kutaura ne CH kuti 10 ton trailer razara ngaichinodurura , etc. Kana kuti mvura yavakuzonaya regai ndipfige matura nekukwidza temperature iwe uchirikumunda. Anything is possible. Ndanga ndiri kupurazi reshamwari yangu nezuro ndichiwona zvangu mombe dzemukaka dzinoda kukamwa nemarobhotsi kana nguya yakwana 24/7...Dzinokwanisa kubuditsa 80M ltrs pagore , unokwanisa kuyenda zvako kuhorodhi kwemazuva 2-3 ukadzoka pasina problem - Mota dzemukaka dzinozivawo kana wazara dzonoutakura. Zvinhu zvakadai zvinodhura asi muchakwanisa mukashinga. Zvinoitwa nemunhu anepurazi rakakura saka izvo zvekuti one man one farm hazvibhadhare , ko kana ma farms acho arimadiki e.g 180Ha x 2 < [madiki pane ] EM's farm. Varungu vezanu ku chiredzi ndovanenyika yese , yavasina kutenga.

Mombe mbudzi hwayi - 23 July 2018

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