Zimbabwe says it can’t remove every white farmer

Zimbabwe’s vice-president has said the country’s remaining white farmers would be spared eviction if they toed the line and respected the law, local media reported on Thursday.

”We cannot remove every white man in this country,” Vice-President Joseph Msika was quoted as telling a farmers’ rally.

”If you think it’s possible, that will not happen. We will respect those white people who respect our laws and want to live with us,” the private Daily Mirror newspaper quoted him as saying.

The state-owned Herald further quoted Msika as saying: ”We cannot remove every white farmer because it’s stupidity. That is shooting yourself in the foot.”

No more than 600 white farmers remain in Zimbabwe following controversial land reforms which saw the eviction of at least 4 000 of their peers to pave the way for land redistribution to poor blacks.

Msika also lashed out at lazy black farmers who invaded white farms and seized properties and then failed to produce anything.

”Some of you when you take these farms, you don’t make use of them,” The Herald quoted Msika as saying.

”Don’t just evict someone who is farming productively because they are of a different race.”

Msika’s statements came weeks after Land Minister Didymus Mutasa said no white farmers were ”farming legally” and urged them to seek permission from the government to continue work after constitutional reforms barred dispossesed farmers from seeking legal recourse.

Msika attacked new farmers for their heavy dependence on government handouts.

”We don’t want to build a nation of beggars,” Msika said, urging the farmers to ”cultivate the land”.

Zimbabwe’s land reforms, which began often violently in 2000 after the rejection in a referendum on a government-sponsored draft Constitution, have seen about 4 000 white farmers lose their properties.

Critics say the majority of the beneficiaries of the land reforms lack farming skills and rely on government handouts.

They also blame the land reforms for the chronic food shortages in what was once Southern Africa’s bread basket.

At least four million of Zimbabwe’s 13-million people require food aid until the next harvest in May. – AFP

 

AFP

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

R7.8bn corruption exposed in SIU Covid-19 corruption report

The SIU has recovered R34.2-million and is chasing a further R551.5-million of alleged graft from the government’s R152-bilion Covid-19 spend

EFF axes Limpopo leaders over poor poll performance

The party lost 25 council seats in what was one of its strongholds

My life and Andre’s: How André Leon Talley paved the...

André Leon Talley injected much-needed intellectualism into fashion, inspiring others to find their feet

Eight dead in Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon stadium crush

Cameroonian President Paul Biya ordered an investigation into the tragedy that occurred on Monday as crowds attempted to enter the Olembe Stadium in the capital Yaounde to watch the host nation play the Comoros
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×