Zim’s New Land Policy “Narrow for Now”- White Farmers
Harare, Feb. 3, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Zimbabwe’s white farmers have said that they remain cautious over the new government land policy which now allowed them to lease the land for 99-years, says a report.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Commercial Farmers Union director, Ben Giplin, said that the new government criteria on who will get land sounded “narrow for now”.
Giplin said, however, it was an important step in the right direction for the new administration to change the country’s decade old land policy.
He said it was too early to be sure of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “motive and policy direction”.
Giplin said that they were other fundamental issues that needed to be resolved before the land issues were resolved.
This came after Zimbabwe’s land ministry issued a directive that would see an end to the discrimination of white farmers as they have now been included on a 99-year land lease.
Under ex-president Robert Mugabe’s government white farmers were allowed to lease the land for only 5-years.
But, Mnangagwa’s government has scrapped that policy, with the country’s eight acting provincial resettlement officers being told that “there should be no more restrictive 5-year leases to white farmers”.
Thousands of white commercial farmers and their employees were displaced and left without sources of income during the fast-tracked agrarian reforms that were masterminded by Mugabe’s administration in 2000.
According to the CFU, more than 4000 white farmers were affected by the often violent farm invasions.
Some of the white farmers that were kicked out of their properties during the agrarian reforms have now set base in neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.