23 June 1998
Zimbabwe puts land-for-all plan into action

ZIMBABWE has put its land-for-all plan into action after hundreds of squatters moved on to farms.

The Government announced last November that more than 1,400 of the countrys richest farmers – predominantly white – would have to hand over their land for resettlement. But nothing happened until squatters from barren communal land recently set up camp at Marondera.

The move has spurred the Government into action. It has announced that 104 farms will be taken over for resettlement and that 12 of them have already been fitted out with tools and equipment.

The move is seen by some observers as measure to avoid an invasion of commercial land by dispossessed peasants.

Nick Swanepoel, president of the Commercial Farmers Union, said he expected all farmers to be paid in line with recent Government pledges to the International Monetary Fund that not one acre would be taken without compensation.

President Robert Mugabe and the ruling Zanu-PF party promised land to an estimated 150,000 landless peasants when the country became independent 18 years ago.

  • The Daily Telegraph 23/06/98 page 16