Home » General » Few Whites to Remain On Farms, JB Matiza

ONLY a handful of white commercial farmers “may retain their land in Mashonaland East,” provincial affairs minister Joel Biggie Matiza has said.

Matiza told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview that he will not back down in his quest to “equitably re-distribute land” in the province.

“We are not working on a witch-hunt. It is not a program inspired by race, colour of skin or creed but our desire is to see our people resettled on land as has happened elsewhere in the country.

“Of course a lot of white farmers in the province have survived thus far because they had political protection hinged on corrupt tendencies but that will be a thing of the past,” said Matiza.

“A few may remain but the majority will have to cede most of the land they are holding because they do not have the necessary government permits for such land”.

He said claims by some white farmers that they were entitled to the land they are occupying were “questionable”.

“Most of the permits that people are claiming to have are of questionable origin and we are investigating these. They could have been cooked up in some backyard shack with support from former provincial leaders.

“We still have people owning as much as 4000 hectares of land individually and that is unacceptable,” Matiza said.

Reports have said most whites who have remained on their farms had paid “protection fees against eviction” to the previous provincial leadership.

Former Zanu PF Mashonaland East provincial chairperson Ray Kaukonde was fingered in the alleged scam while ousted VP Joice Mujuru was accused by the First Lady Grace Mugabe of extortion, through demanding 10% shares in companies owned by foreigners or whites.

Matiza has undertaken a mini-audit of the land situation in the province and claims to have “unearthed massive land corruption which we will deal with decisively”.

He has also threatened foreign-owned firms whom he accuses of failing to full-fill their pledges they allegedly made towards the controversial Community Share Ownership Schemes.

President Robert Mugabe told thousands gathered to celebrate his 91st birthday in Victoria Falls last month that the “remaining whites must go” adding that “no white-man should own land in the country”.

Since then, there has been an upsurge in the farm invasions and seizures across the country.

In most cases, CIO spies, Mugabe’s goons, have been beneficiaries.

Source : New Zimbabwe