6 December 2017

Zimbabwe: MDC-T Urges Its Supporters to Apply for Land

THE opposition MDC-T party has urged its supporters to apply for farm-land, saying there is nothing wrong with benefiting from one of the key gains of the liberation struggle.

In his inauguration speech two weeks ago, president Emmerson Mnangagwa said his government would, instead of reversing the land reform programme, compensate white farmers who lost land during the chaotic and often violent exercise.

He also said a land committee would ensure land is used productively, failing which it would be redistributed.

MDC-T national spokesman Obert Gutu said those left out in the initial exercise must strategically position themselves to benefit from the mooted land audit.

"In fact, the MDC would like to call upon all its supporters who are in need of agricultural land to promptly apply for land allocation at the relevant government departments," said Gutu in a statement this Tuesday.

"All deserving Zimbabwean citizens, including MDC supporters, shouldn't be ashamed of applying for land under the land reform programme."

According to Gutu, his party would carry out the land audit when in power, if the current government does not carry out the exercise.

He said the party was never opposed to land redistribution to address colonial imbalances but the manner in which it was done.

The programme ended up benefitting Zanu PF cronies and their friend who have also been found to be unable to productively use the land.

"Indeed, it was grossly unfair and immoral to have more than 90% of Zimbabwe's arable commercial farm land in the hands of less than 6000 white commercial farmers whilst the majority of the black population was squashed in the then tribal trust lands," said Gutu.

"The MDC has never been against the underlying principle of land reform. All we have been clamouring for is that the land reform should be undertaken in a holistic, sustainable and non-partisan manner."

The party said those who grabbed several farms under the land reform programme should relinquish some to enable other landless Zimbabweans to also benefit from the land reform exercise.

"The land reform programme should not be abused and bastardised in order to create land barons," Gutu declared.

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