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Zimbabwe orders return of land to white farmer

Zimbabwe government orderers the return of land confiscated from a white farmer

Harare, Zimbabwe | AFP | Zimbabwe’s new government ordered Thursday that land confiscated from a white farmer to give to an ally of former president Robert Mugabe must be returned.

Robert Smart, who grew tobacco and corn on his farm in Makoni in eastern Zimbabwe, was evicted in June after a former minister ordered that the plot be turned over to pro-Mugabe cleric Trevor Manhanga.

“(He) surrendered part of his farm during the land reforms and the G40 started racially profiling him to justify eviction,” said Chris Mutsvangwa, a special advisor to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The G40, or Generation 40, was a faction of the ZANU-PF party, mainly younger members, once loyal to Mugabe’s wife Grace.

“Smart and others were victims of racial discrimination, greed and abuse of power. Their farms were acquired outside the parameters of the law.”

He added that the government was investigating other illegal farm takeovers.

Smart and his son Darryn were reportedly evicted by heavily armed men who beat farm workers and stole property.

In 2000 Mugabe launched the disastrous land seizure programme in which farms were forcibly taken from white farmers, officially justified as an effort to stimulate economic growth for black Zimbabweans.

The evictions, often brutal and arbitrary, were blamed for a collapse in agricultural production and chronic food shortages that forced the one-time breadbasket of Africa to become dependent on imports of staples.

Economic output fell by half following the start of the land seizures, as more than 4,000 of the country’s 4,500 white farmers were stripped of their land.

Mnangagwa, who replaced Mugabe last month following a military takeover, has vowed to revive the country’s economy by lifting agricultural production and attracting foreign investment.

In his inauguration address, he also pledged that his government would compensate white farmers whose land was seized by Mugabe.


  1. This world can be confusing and unfair , really we learnt from the agreements at lancaster house; that arrangement was good for land distribution in zimbabwe. We dont know how things just changed with events .
    The arrangement at lancaster house was not going to harm any one .
    We hope this issue will be settled amicably as far as we know experience is the best teacher.

    • Obviously nobody in Zimbabwe understands money. Getting rid of all the commercial farmers simply because their skin is lighter than yours is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. This petty and resentful act of racism turned the country from the ‘ breadbasket ‘ of Southern Africa into the greatest basket case in the World. You should not do any business with the World Bank, IMF or African Development Bank, they are from the same source and none of them ever had any interest in helping Zimbabwe. You should not allow the US dollar to enter the countries finances IN ANY FORM. Foreign currencies temporarily need to be made illegal, exchanged by businesses engaged in exports or at the border. Your gold mining needs to be done by Zimbabweans , and the gold kept inside the Zimbabwean Treasury. Copper, coal, bauxite etc should all be eventually be mined using a Zimbabwean Government mining company, and then exported on the World market, using arbitrage to sell at the right time.
      Your aim should be to make Zimbabwe independent in 5 areas, economically/ financially, militarily, in food production, energy production and in medical skills and procurement. Taking out foreign exchange loans is a bad idea.
      Zimbabwean small businesses need to be nurtured, until they can compete on the World market.

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