White famers condemn Grace evictions

DISPOSSESSED white farmers will not celebrate the fate of black land grab beneficiaries who are currently being hounded out of their allocated properties by politicians, the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) has said.

Spokesperson Olivier Hendricks said the CFU is condemning the eviction of villagers from Arnold Farm in Mazowe by President Robert Mugabe’s wife, Grace.

“This shows that there is no security, no property rights whatsoever; you can still be evicted if you are a white commercial farmer or a new land beneficiary. It shows that there is no clear land policy,” Olivier said, in an interview with NewZimbabwe.com.

Homes belonging to over 150 families were razed down by police allegedly at the behest of the First Lady who wants the place as a game park to extend her vast business empire.

Even two High Court orders barring the evictions have not stopped the police evictions, which have been roundly condemned by local rights groups and political opponents to the Mugabes.

President Mugabe in 2000 embarked on a controversial land reform programme which saw some whites being killed by black land invaders who received tacit government approval.

The land expropriations were carried out on the ostensible bid to correct colonial land imbalances which saw the native black population moved to poor soils.

But after years have passed since the white land owners lost their means of livelihood, blacks, it has turned out, are now suffering the same fate whites suffered.

The temptation is high for the CFU and its former members to ride on the latest happenings to solidify their long held argument that the land question was more about political interests as opposed to socio-economic hardships affecting landless blacks.

But the CFU spokesperson said they were not at all tempted to celebrate the eviction of black settlers who forced one of their own out of the farms.

“We certainly do not celebrate the eviction of any person from his property,” said Olivier.

“You must remember that commercial farmers have been evicted for 15 years and we continue being evicted and this is trauma for the farmers.

“If it’s the new beneficiaries or people who have been moved on to the property and they are now being evicted, most probably falsely evicted, and all their belongings are being loaded up, this is trauma and we do not wish it on any person, it’s not a good thing and certainly we are not celebrating it.”

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