A group in Zimbabwe has accused the South African government of playing a part in the eviction of about 170 Zimbabwean farmers who are mainly diaspora returnees.
Report from Zimbabwe has it that the government, under the leadership of Robert Mugabe, had evicted a large number of Zimbabwean farmers just eight months after granting them farmlands.
The eviction had many who were diaspora returnees affected with widows and children of national heroes being the most affected by the act.
Some of the evictees pointed accusing fingers at the South African government for pioneering the course saying it applied pressure on Harare during President Jacob Zuma’s visit in November last year, to have them evicted.
The Zimbabwean farmers were issued a notice letter where the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Douglas Mombeshora maintained that the withdrawal of the offers had been made under the provisions of the land reform and resettlement programme.
“Following the notice to withdraw your offer letter and representation which you made to that effect, please be advised that the minister… is withdrawing the land offer made to you in respect of subdivision,” Mombeshora was quoted as saying at the time.
The farm was reportedly owned by Tongaat Hulett before it was given to the small scale Zimbabwean farmers who were using at least 2 000 hectares to grow sugar cane with government support.
Mombeshora told the new farmers to leave the property “immediately” because “the purpose for the withdrawal outweighs the representations” made by the applicants.
Meanwhile, reports from Zimbabwe has it that the country’s Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has moved to stop government from evicting at least 170 new farmers from a Triangle Ranch in Masvingo.
In a letter to the minister, the AAG slammed the government’s decision saying: “Foreign direct investment is welcome in Zimbabwe and that will always remain in case but certainly not at the expense of local people.”
The group specifically asked government to stop evicting the new farmers as this was against the country’s “indigenisation and empowerment policies”.
Government’s responsibility must be to its own people… those acting on behalf of Tongaat Hulett are doing so in the interest of their own economy, the AAG said.