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White farmers respond to Mugabe's threats

04 July 2014, 12:00

Cape Town - White farmers have reportedly described President Robert Mugabe's recent remarks that whites must cede all land to blacks as "extremely unhelpful" to Zimbabwe as a country.  

According to SW Radio Africa, the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union's president Charles Taffs said Mugabe's rhetoric sent a very bad message to potential investors and was not conducive for growth.

Mugabe earlier this week said the remaining white farmers in the country must go, vowing that whites will never be allowed to own land in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe's comments 'ill timed'

But Taffs said there was no time for racial divisions, adding that Zimbabwe needed to change its narrative when it came to issues regarding land and agricultural production because the country's economy was in absolute crisis.

The report also quoted economist Masimba Kuchera as saying Mugabe's comments were ill-timed and that they will not send a positive signal to investors.

BBC Africa posted on its Facebook page that white farmers in Zimbabwe were taking Mugabe's remarks seriously, adding that the remaining white commercial farmers in the country were living in fear.

Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

Low production

At the time, Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.

The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation struggle.

Critics of the reforms have blamed the programme for low production on the farms as the majority of the beneficiaries lacked the means and skills to work the land.

- News24


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