Zimbabwe: Farmers Lose Property in Latest Land Seizures

Chiredzi — THREE white commercial farmers have lost their properties in the latest land seizures in the south eastern district of Chiredzi. The High Court has ordered the farmers- Anna Bradfield, Mike Horsley and Shane Warth- to vacate their properties in Chiredzi. Magistrate Geraldine Mutsoto ordered them to vacate the land.

Zimbabwe's Land Commission is probing the farm seizures amid complaints by the farmers that the exercise was illegal. The Zimbabwean Constitution, adopted in 2013, established the land commission to deal with land disputes following the country's chaotic land reform programme.

Boaz Vurayai, the local district administrator, confirmed the disputes over land.

"The disputes are now being dealt with by the land commission while the High Court is also to make a determination on the issues," Vurayai told CAJ News Africa Zimbabwe Bureau in an interview.

In the year 2000, Zimbabwean authorities embarked on the land reform programme meant to address land ownership historical imbalances between minority whites and majority blacks.

Under the programme, most of the country's 4 000 white commercial farmers were pushed off their land.

Most of the land ended up in the hands of the political elite and ill equipped farmers, resulting in successive food shortages in a country that was Africa's breadbasket.

Western nations imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe following the land seizures.

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