ED disappoints whites, says nothing about farm returns
By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Saturday left white Zimbabweans a disappointed lot when he failed to address issues to do with their possible return to commercial farming following violent land seizures since 2000.
Mnangagwa met dozens of white Zimbabweans at the Borrowdale Race Course as he continues with attempts to charm minority sections of the Zimbabwean populace ahead of the 2018 elections.
Thousands of white farm owners lost their farms during the land reform programme which was presided over by former State leader Robert Mugabe.
Many farm owners who depended on the land lost their means of survival.
Lately, Mnangagwa has reversed a lot of Mugabe’s tough policies and has tried to reach out to former enemies in attempts to rid the country of its pariah state status.
Mnangagwa has also been praised for opening up the country’s business environment to foreigners in what his rivals have said was an attempt to reverse Mugabe’s empowerment achievements to locals.
But during his meeting with whites, Mnangagwa was careful not to sound too generous to whites, instead skirting around the subject and also threatening greedy black land beneficiaries who were in the habit of running down farms.
“We should seize to talk about owning farms in terms of colour. A black farmer, a white farmer is a Zimbabwean farmer. We should look at it that way,” Mnangagwa said.
“We should begin to develop a culture among our people to accept ourselves that we are one.
“Let the past remain behind. There are so many white farmers who don’t have farms anymore as a result of the land reform but I think they have a role to play in terms of skills in the farming sector for productivity.”
Mnangagwa threatened some “chefs” who were grabbing farms, running them down and later abandoning them.
“That time is gone. Your colour does not entitle you to run down asserts of this country,” he said.