Monday, April 07, 2008
PRESIDENT Mugabe says land must remain in the hands of indigenous people and urged Zimbabweans to safeguard it from the former colonisers. His call comes in the wake of reports that some white former commercial farmers were trooping back onto farms they once owned threatening to evict black beneficiaries. President Mugabe made the plea at Nharira in Chikomba District, Mashonaland East Province, at the burial of the First Lady’s uncle Mr Junius Takaruza Marufu yesterday.
The late Mr Marufu was a brother to Amai Mugabe’s father. He died in his sleep on Friday morning aged 94. Mr Marufu is survived by his wife, Mrs Taidaro Marufu, six children and several grandchildren.
Addressing mourners, Cde Mugabe urged Zimbabweans to safeguard the land, saying thousands of freedom fighters perished while others sustained permanent injuries during the liberation war fighting for the return of the land from Rhodesians.
"Ivhu iri, hongu vamwe vedu tingadai tiri mutuminda tudiki asi ngarirambe riri mumaoko edu. Ivhu nderedu ngarirege kupoya, kudzokera mumaoko emabhunu," he said. "Nhasi uno hapasiripo patingazonzwa kuti basa irori (fight for land) radzokera kumashure."
President Mugabe described Mr Marufu as a great teacher and peacemaker and pledged to pursue his principles. "Isu tasara tichatevedza gwara nenhoroondo ramakatisiyira. Kubatanidza vanhu tive pamwechete asi tichifamba nezvinangwa kuti ivhu iri nderedu rinofanira kuchengetedzwa nariini."
Chief Enos Musarurwa, who expressed grief at the death of Mr Marufu, described land as a national heritage and urged President Mugabe not to backtrack on the land reform programme. He hailed Cde Mugabe for being a responsible son-in-law, saying this was evidenced by his presence at the burial of Mr Marufu. Cde Mike Bimha, a relative, described Mr Marufu’s death as a great loss to the Bimha, Muto and Marufu families.
President Mugabe’s plea comes amid reports that some white former commercial farmers were trooping back onto their previous farms where they are allegedly threatening new black owners with eviction.
Such cases were reported in Mashonaland West Province where scores of white farmers visited Paarl, Impofu and Bougainvillea farms.
There were also reports last week that some white former commercial farmers had threatened to evict beneficiaries of the agrarian reform in Mkwasine, Hippo Valley and Triangle in Chiredzi.
Our Masvingo Bureau reports that war veterans in the province have warned white farmers in the province against engaging in any attempts to repossess redistributed land as they risked facing unspecified consequences.
Provincial war veterans’ chairman Cde Isaiah Muzenda yesterday said they would take strong action against unrepentant white farmers who were preparing to repossess their previous properties in anticipation of an MDC victory in the presidential poll.
Cde Muzenda said war vets would strongly resist such moves by the white farmers and their agents.
"We have knowledge that some white former farmers in the province are plotting to repossess land in anticipation of an MDC victory in the presidential election, but we want to tell them that the results are not yet out.
"We are also warning them of strong action if they continue to tread on that dangerous path. As war vets, we are prepared to act in defence of our land. We will take very strong action, which I will not reveal, against such actions from the unrepentant white former farmers," said Cde Muzenda.
He said that war vets and other patriotic Zimbabweans in Masvingo had since moved in to seal off certain farms in the province to resist any sinister motives by the remaining white farmers in the province.
Cde Muzenda urged other war vets throughout the country to be vigilant and prepare to guard the gains of independence if the need arises.
"We know of some places where our enemies (white ex-farmers) are but we will not mention the places, but we know where they are and what they are doing," he said.
Cde Muzenda said just like prior to the 2000 farm occupations, Masvingo war vets were again leading the way in the ongoing battle against British imperialism with the covert objective of recolonising Zimbabwe.
There have been widespread reports of white former farmers flocking back into the country, especially the Lowveld part of Masvingo, in preparation to repossessing the land they lost during the land reform programme in the event of an MDC victory.
This has caused apprehension among some newly resettled sugarcane farmers who benefited under the land reform programme.
Some of the sugarcane farmers who spoke to The Herald expressed concern over incidents involving white ex-farmers in Mkwasine, Hippo Valley and Triangle who were threatening to return to their previous plots in the hope that the opposition MDC was going to get into power.
The newly resettled farmers said the white former sugarcane farmers were allegedly camped at Malilangwe Conservancy in Chiredzi where they have been staying since last week.
Zimbabwe Sugar Milling Industry Workers’ Union secretary-general Cde Admore Hwarare warned white farmers against any attempts to repossess the land in Chiredzi, saying such moves would be strongly resisted.
"Let no one fool him/herself that he will or she can repossess land in Chiredzi because we are going to resist that. The Government allocated the land to us and we have got security forces that are prepared to defend the right to our land," he said.
There were also reports of various acts of sabotage against newly resettled farmers by white commercial farmers who were opposed to the agrarian reforms.