Sunday, May 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) CFU slams MDC-T on land
Sunday, 05 May 2013 00:00
Tinashe Farawo

The Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) has castigated the MDC-T for its lack of a clear land policy and has pledged to work with the “Government of the day to discuss agricultural issues.”

The CFU, which has been part of the MDC-T regime-change agenda for the past 14 years, has of late been making moves to normalise relations with Zanu-PF amid indications that the revolutionary party is headed for a massive victory in general elections set for this year.

In an interview on the sidelines of a policy dialogue meeting held in Harare last week, the union’s president, Mr Charles Taffs, acknowledged that the country’s agricultural production has been a success and is irreversible. Mr Taffs added that his organisation was ready to work with a Zanu-PF Government after this year’s elections as the party has a clear land policy.

“As farmers we are ready to work with the Government of the day,” he said.

“Yes, in the past some of our members used to help the MDC-T financially, but this was not a CFU position. As the CFU, we remain committed to working with the political party that forms the Government of the day.”

Mr Taffs noted that unlike Zanu-PF, which has a clear-cut land policy which it has been religiously pursuing to the benefit of the previously marginalised black majority, the MDC-T does not have a land policy.

The CFU boss noted that because Zanu-PF has a clear stance on the land question, his members know the direction the party will take when it wins the next elections while the same cannot be said about the MDC-T which always flips-flops on policy matters.

“We don’t know what the MDC-T will do if they happen to win the elections. Clearly they don’t have a policy on land as yet. Maybe they are going to unveil it as the elections draw closer,” said Mr Taffs.

He revealed that his organisation was lobbying for the formation of a single farmer representative union.

“We believe that our interests as farmers are the same so we are saying let’s fight from the same corner and organise ourselves into one union.

“The agricultural sector has been improving, especially in tobacco, but more still needs to be done to improve our production levels across all sectors,” he said.

Mr Taffs conceded that Britain left the Zimbabwean Government with little choice when it reneged on a pledge to provide funds to compensate farmers whose land would have been repossessed under the agrarian reform programme.

“It’s unfortunate that it was not in black and white, so when Britain reneged on that pledge, the Zimbabwean Government did what we all know in 2000.

“The question now is how we move forward as a nation,” said Mr Taffs.

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