Mugabe's Men Resist Tsvangirai's Land Audit

Zimbabwean farmers Mike Campbell and Ben Freeth react on November 28 last year (two months after Tsvangirai became Prime Minister) to a judgement by the SADC Tribunal in Windhoek ruling that they could keep their farm. The INclusive Government of Mugabe and Tsvangirai says it is not bound by this and that it will not listen to anything the SADC Tribunal says. Tsvangirai himself has now also said that there are no invasions going on but that there are farmers refusing to vacate land that has been forcibly acquired by the government . Meantime, the nation starves and begs for handouts. The case of the Campbells also reveals the lie that a farmer with only farm will not lose it.

Harare, Zimbabwe, 26 August 2009

State media today carries an unsigned piece entitled "We Don't Need Another Land Audit", revealing yet again that Mugabe and his cronies are determined to ensure that they hang on to their ill-gotten multiple farms.

Morgan Tsvangirai has been pushing for a Land audit to be done in order to restore order in the farming sector of the economy, even as Mugabe's people continue to harass farmers like Ben Freeth in Chegutu, threatening as they did one harrowing night to "eat" his children.

Technically, the state media are correct, because there have been three Land Audit done so far, as Dr Simba Makoni of Mavambo kept pointing out during his campaign. One was done by Didymus Mutasa, the other by Flora Buka and the third by yet another Commission.

The findings of these probes, which have all been presented to Mugabe (this goes back to 2002), have never been released and the reports gather dust on his shelves at State House.

But so much has changed on the ground since then, with people like Nathan Shamuyarira, Didymus Mutasa, Grace Mugabe and others hoarding more farms, so that multiple farm ownership has increased and not decreased since the reports were done.

The piece in today's state newspaper repeats Mugabe's recent statement that there was no money to do a land audit, which is estimated to need US$31 million.

Of course, the Inclusive government is able to find the US$!! million they recently blew on foreign travel.

They are able to afford retreats such as the one they had in Nyanga at last week, at which Tsvangirai finally admitted that his government has performed "dismally". The convoy of ministers, PermSecs, and Principal Directors, which we saw with our own eyes on Friday, was two kilometres long!!

It is clear that ZANU PF, at least, is pushing to extend its network of patronage. We have, for instance, today's piece calling for the US$31 million to be used to buy motobikes for Agricultural Extension Officers (Madhumeni). They are mostly ZANU PF functionaries, since it is difficult to survive as one or even as a teacher in rural Zimbabwe if you are opposition loyalist.

Meantime, Mike Campbell, Ben Freeth and countless other brave farmers who are under siege can not produce anything on their land because if they do, ZANU PF bigwigs come in and harvest their crops.

At the same time, the nation is starving and calling for aid from donors to feed this nation of proud "master farmers".

While this is going on, Tsvangirai keeps insisting that he is not going to go anywhere and neither is Mugabe, that they will stick it out in the government of exclusivity while watching the burning ruins that were once Zimbabwe.

This is why they want five years before elections are held, so that they can all feather their nests and retire knowing that they and their families are taken care of. As for the rest of the country and her people, they can go and hang, appears to b attitude of this moribund government.


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