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Mugabe not a land reform hero, say War vets

03/08/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter
Second offer letter chasing away war vets ... Victor Matemadanda

War Veterans who spearheaded the controversial land reform programme from 2000 said it is disheartening to hear Zanu PF supporters and its leaders giving President Robert Mugabe credit for the agrarian reform.

Mugabe, according to the former freedom fighters, never said anything about the land after independence until they (War Veterans) took the law into their own hands.

In a wide ranging interview, the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) secretary general, Victor Matemadanda, said Mugabe had no land redistribution policy until the former freedom fighters decided to invade the white owned commercial farms.

He said the land issue was spearheaded by the War Veterans but now credit is being given to the wrong person (Mugabe), with the liberation war fighters becoming victims of the reform exercise.

“Smith killed some of us because of the land issue, Mugabe chased us when we invaded the farms earlier and when some of us got the small pieces of land, Mugabe chased us again with offer letters,” said Matemadanda.

“Look at what happened in 2000, the veterans of the Chimurenga struggle were met with police brutality sent by Mugabe and chased away from the farms,” he added.

Matemadanda said history shows that Mugabe has never been serious with the land issue as also evidenced by several land audits that have been commissioned since 2000 but have been blocked by his Ministers claiming that it’s a witch-hunt against Zanu PF leaders.

Zanu PF bigwigs reportedly own multiple farms.

“But look, the War Veterans who occupied land at the height of the land reform programme are now landless, after their pieces of land were repossessed by crooks in Mugabe’s government,” he said.

“Arnold and Manzou Farm in Mazoe, 17 years after the villagers got the farms, his wife Grace Mugabe is chasing them away.”   

Matemadanda added, “Look at who gives the offer letters, it’s Mugabe’s Minister, but after years some a top government official comes with another offer letter for the same piece of land.”

The ZNLWVA executive member went on to say surprisingly second offer letters are only chasing away poor villagers and war veterans.

In 2000, war veterans invaded white owned commercial farms giving birth to the controversial land reform programme with more than 4000 white farmers violently evicted.



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