Farmers need to co-exist
Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005
The Herald Online
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IT is not surprising today that the forces that were violently opposed to the liberation struggle and called the liberation movement "terrorism" are the same that today are calling equitable distribution of land, "a land grab". The same hostility towards the majority still manifests itself.
Some Western countries still believe that Zimbabwe's land redistribution programme to the majority is meant to drive the white commercial farmers out of the country.
We all know that the Government is just fairly distributing the land to the landless Zimbabweans who did not have enough land to fend for themselves.
There is a lot of land in Zimbabwe, whites still have a place to live. The resettlement programme was not meant to drive them out but to create an atmosphere which was conducive to the majority.
If it is accepted that the primary cause for taking up the armed struggle stemmed from imbalances in land distribution, how can there ever be peace if those historical injustices remain unrectified?
Threats are made on a daily basis by some Western countries that unless the will of the former oppressors reigns supreme, this country will not benefit from investment.
What, in effect, this means is that perpetration of oppression of the majority in this country, will attract investment.
It is in this context, therefore, that we agree with Vice President Joseph Msika that the land reform programme is based on the principle of the one-man one-farm principle, and that it is not Government's policy to drive all whites out of their farms.
The call by the Vice President to the Zimbabwe Farmers Union Congress that new farmers and white commercial farmers should work together to achieve food security in the country comes at the right time.
"The whites used us during the colonial era. We should also use them this time around. One obviously cannot just wake up a good farmer, you need to learn, you need to acquire experience."
We are happy that there are some genuine white farmers in the country, though in the minority, who have demonstrated a willingness to reciprocate the hand of reconciliation.
They do this by working hand in hand with the new farmers in their neighbourhood. This is how it should be.
The passing of Constitution Amendment Number 17 has put the question of land reform to its final end.
Focus should now be on the productive use of the allocated land.
This is a challenge to the Zimbabwe Farmers' Union to impress upon their members to fully utilise the land they were given under the land redistribution programme.
Failure to use the land, promotes the wishes of our detractors. The rains are just around the corner. Let us put all our detractors to shame by using the land to produce food for our own consumption and export.
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