By Staff Reporter
THE Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa has wadded into the ragging row pitying the Zimbabwean government and opposition South African Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema.
The outspoken South African politician has harangued President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration for promises to compensate white commercial farmers who lost their land in government’s chaotic post-millennium land reform programme.
Malema’s outbursts have invited strong rebuke from Harare with the Zanu PF led administration saying it would not be lectured by the firebrand opposition leader linked to one of its factions.
Likewise, the Zimbabwe embassy in Pretoria has described Malema as mischievous.
Mnangagwa last Friday signed a US$3,5 deal to compensate the former Zimbabwean commercial farmers of European descent for improvements on land done during the 90-year colonial period.
Malema, at a press conference Saturday, expressed great disappointment in the deal saying Mnangagwa had betrayed the ideals of the Zimbabwean revolution and had sold out.
Harare responded by issuing a stinging criticism of the outspoken politician saying he had no right to meddle in internal affairs of the country, adding he was acting out of ignorance.
The embassy, in a statement Monday said it had been dismayed by Malema’s averments.
Said the embassy, “The Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Republic of South Africa read with consternation and utter disbelief the EFF Statement on the Announcement by the President of Zimbabwe on Compensating White Farmers issued on 31 July 2020.
“The Embassy has, in the past, restrained itself from responding to the many provocative statements issued by the EFF about Zimbabwe.
“On this occasion, we cannot remain silent in the face of the EFF’s pretentiousness to know more about the history and politics of Zimbabwe than the Zimbabweans themselves.
“Even more, the EFF has the audacity to dare teach Zimbabweans, even our Head of State, about the land question in our country.
“Not only did thousands of our compatriots pay the supreme sacrifice for the return of the land to its rightful owners but even today our people suffer the burden of sanctions imposed by those opposed to our land reform programme.”
The embassy added that Malema had, through his statements, exhibited lack of knowledge on the issue as the Zimbabwean government had a constitutional mandate to pay the compensation.
“The government of Zimbabwe will compensate the former farmers for improvements on the acquired land ONLY. No more. There is nothing treasonous in upholding one’s own national constitution.
“It will be recalled that the Constitution of Zimbabwe was approved 95% of voters in a referendum held in 2013 and was assented to and signed into law by the Head of State, the late Comrade Robert G. Mugabe, on 22 May 2013.
“It is highly mischievous of the EFF to attempt to rewrite history by seeking to distance the legacy of the late Head of State from the 2013 Constitution whose provisions circumscribe the agreement signed on 29 July 2020,” the embassy statement reads.
“His Excellency President Emmerson D. Mnangagwa has been consistent and firm on the land issue. He has, on the countless occasions, reiterated that the land reform is irreversible and that Section 72 of the Constitution is very clear in this regard.
“In his words, he has been very clear that “we fought for land and there is no way we will retract our position with regards to the land reform.
“It is our expectation that the EFF and others who may wish to comment on the land issues in Zimbabwe do so from an informed, objective and constructive standpoint that respects the people of Zimbabwe’s struggles and sacrifices for their land and contributes to the unity and progress of the country.”