Mugabes Son, Barely A Teenager, Has A Farm
THE FARMER: Mugabe's landholding is extensive, under various names and it is all managed by Joseph Made, who used to head Agriculture Rural Development Agency, ARDA. Even as Mugabe lambasted ARDA as "totally rotten, hopeless", he took their head and made him minister of Agriculture, although he spends most his time tending the President's gardens. No wonder the Agriculture sector is in a state: the Minister is too busy with other things
Harare, Zimbabwe, 28 September 2009
So the Telegraph says an international organisation has discovered that Robert "The Solution" Mugabe took five farms near his Highfield Farm in Norton between 2002 and 2008.
I did not think this was news. This stuff is quite well-known and there are more farms than the ones the Telegraph report on.
Highfield is a farm that Mugabe bought on the open market before the Land Reform Programme.
When the programme started in earnest, Mugabe decided that his family should also benefit from this. So, those who wish to do a Land Audit should know that they will not be able to pin him down on this one legally.
This is because those farms are for each member of his own family. There is a farm for Robert Jnr, another for Bona, one for Chatunga, who is barely a teenager. And then there is the man himself and his wife. That makes five people. Five farms.
We are not counting here the farms that the First Lady has grabbed from her children from her first marriage. We are not considering the various farms that she runs under the guise of one project, cooperative or the other.
There is Iron Mask Farm in Mazowe. Then there is that farm in the Mt Darwin area that I told you a few months back now has a Womens Cooperative sign on it.
Along the main road to Mazowe from Harare, just after the Mazoe dam, there is another huge complex of half-finished, tiled houses built on a farm the First Lady said was to house street kids.
Perhaps the street kids did not want to live in such opulent houses and they now stand abandoned, derelict even before they are finished.
It has also been known for a very long time that the Minister of Agriculture in Zimbabwe, Joseph Made, acts as the Farm Manager for Mugabe, looking after the farms, ensuring the availability of inputs and a good yield.
This is the reason why, despite his dismal failure as a Minister of Agriculture, Made stayed on and on and on.....and even came back in with the Inclusive Government. Mugabe judges him not by the national results, but by the results the Minister gets on the President's farms.
Two years ago, as the nations farmers reeled under a severe inputs shortage and failed to grow anything respectable, Mugabe was boasting about his bumper harvest at Highfield Farm, mostly maize.
As revealed today also, the president keeps camels at one of the farms - a present from Libya's Muamar Gaddafi, who celebrates 40 years in power this year.
Then there are Brahman bulls and all those cattle that his is showered it at rally after rally during campaigns.
And it is also revealed now that Grace Mugabe supplies a million litres of milk to Nestle each month. Baby milk and condensed milk from Grace Mugabe herself! No wonder she can splash out US$30 000 shopping in Manhattan.
It is inconceivable to Mugabe that one day, his children may lose those farms as audits are taken. Which is why he is now on a mission to also compromise MDC MPs and Ministers with offers of farms of their own, which they are taking up.
Now they are in the same boat. It is in their interest to ensure that they never "reverse" the Land Reform Programme. Otherwise they also stand to lose personally.
And you wonder why the MDC is doing nothing as farmers' houses are burnt down, farmers assaulted and operations disrupted? As I said before, talk is cheap.
And it is no use to stay in the Prime Minister's office pointing at Mugabe and claiming that there is nothing you can say or do because he is blocking you. Fight as hard as you are fighting for Governors, but direct those efforts to matter such as these.
Then people will see that there is difference between you and Mugabe.
Right now, that is not happening, and it is unlikely to happen.