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White farmers issued ultimatum in Zimbabwe

10-08-2012 05:53 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent Farai Mwakutuya

Zimbabwe government officials have issued an ultimatum to the country’s remaining commercial white farmers to vacate their land and pave way for new farmers allocated the land under the land reform program. The move has caused panic in the farming community and threatens to jeopardize agricultural output for the next farming season.

Zimbabwe’s white farmers are under attack yet again as a senior government official announced an ultimatum for farmers to wind up their operations.

The Governor of Mashonaland Central Province told state media that the Government would use security personnel to ensure the directive is followed.

The farming community believes this latest onslaught spells doom for the farming sector.

Charles Taffs, President, Commercial Farmers Union, said, "The minute you start to have these sort of utterances you create a sense of insecurity and once you have insecurity people on the ground are reluctant to borrow money and spend money on their farming businesses of lower production."

Further despondency has been fuelled by the confusion over the jurisdiction of the provincial governor.

The cabinet Minister responsible for Lands and Resettlement referred all questions to the Governor.

Our repeated efforts to get a comment from the Governor have been fruitless.

The latest attack, which comes 12 years after the launch of land redistribution exercise may have been precipitated by a number of factors.

Charles Taffs, President, Commercial Farmers Union, said, "We are going into an election period and history will tell you that over the last 12 years each time there is an election we suffer the consequences. Secondly there has been a court case won in South Africa by a group of farmers seeking compensation. Whether this is retaliation for that we cannot say."

There are an estimated 450 white commercial farmers still carrying out activities in Zimbabwe a far cry from 4000 who were farming prior to the land reform programme.

Agriculture once Zimbabwe’s economic mainstay is on the ropes but needs to be boosted if the county has hopes to repair its economy. This year the sectors is expected to regress and coupled with the latest threats poses serious challenges for food security and sustainable economic recovery.

 

Editor:Bai Yang |Source: CCTV.com

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