THE opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Robert Mugabe of violating the country’s constitution by allocating himself over 14 farms.
Jacob Mafume, PDP spokesperson, said in a statement Wednesday that Mugabe had failed to reign in on corruption and greedy accumulation of wealth by his government at the expense of the electorate because he is deeply involved in unfair distribution of resources.
According to Section 293 subsection (2) of the Constitution, “The State may not alienate more than one piece of agricultural land to the same person and his or her dependants”.
“Mugabe’s grabbing of the country’s resources is also reflected in how he has managed to seize multiple farms across the country in total breach of the country’s Constitution,” said Mafume.
“Mugabe and his family own vast tracts of farm land, which include game parks where ordinary farmers were removed from. The total farm land owned by Mugabe over 16 000ha.”
Mugabe farms listed by Mafume:
For years since the violent land reform of 2000 which left some white farmers dead and many exiled, the Mugabe government’s talk of a land audit has never gone beyond the proposal stages.
“This is why Mugabe is against the setting up of a land audit commission that will among other issues deal with the issue of multiple land ownership,” said Mafume.
Apart from dealing with the issue of multiple farm ownership, the audit would also ensure no farm owner is holding on idle land when others have nowhere to farm as it the case now.
Zimbabwe was known as the bread basket of Africa, producing enough food for itself and surpluses for export but today the country is, almost on an annual basis, importing even the staple grain, maize.
Critics blame the food crisis on the chaotic land reforms that saw the destruction of irrigation systems which used to help mitigate the impact of droughts.
Resettled farmers are also struggling to access loans as their leases are not bankable while government lacks the financial resources subsidize farming.
In instances where inputs have been availed, they have, on most occasions, been distributed late or diverted by party leaders for personal gain.
Mugabe, lauded locally and globally as a hero at independence in 1980, is now accused of ruining what was once one of Africa’s most thriving economies over the 36 years he has been in power.
He is also charged with presiding over a corrupt and incompetent government as well as committing gross human rights violations.
On several occassions, he has publicly condemned ruling Zanu PF officials for corruption but never took any action against them.
A few months ago there was a public outcry as Zimbabweans called for a proper inquiry after he revealed that the country had lost $15 billion worth of diamond revenues.
“It is also hard to believe that Mugabe is in the dark on the leakages of diamonds at Marange, where over $15 billion worth of diamonds have been looted by Zanu PF officials and their partners,” said Mafume.
He continued: “In 2013, there was a furore when Mugabe made sensational claims that the then Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) chairperson, Goodwills Masimirembwa had extorted $6 million from a Ghanaian company that sought to invest in the Marange diamond field on a joint venture agreement with ZMDC.
“The people expected heads to roll and arrests to follow but up to now, nothing has happened, showing how deeply Mugabe and his wife are involved in the looting of the Marange diamonds.”