Zimbabwe’s white farmers have said that they remain cautious over the new government land policy which now allowed them to lease the land for 99-years, says a report.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the Commercial Farmers Union director, Ben Giplin, said that the new government criteria on who will get land sounded “narrow for now”.
Giplin said, however, it was an important step in the right direction for the new administration to change the country’s decade old land policy.
He said it was too early to be sure of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s “motive and policy direction”.
“It is an important step but we will be cautious. It’s too early for us to be sure of government motive and direction this new policy is taking,” Giplin was quoted as saying.
Assuring white farmers that nothing wrong will happen to them if they come back, Mnangagwa on Saturday said:
“We have plenty of land that has not been used since white farmers left Zimbabwe. We are calling on all the farmers who fled to Zambia, South Africa, and other countries to come back home. We need each other. White farmers must come back, our people are dying of hunger. Farming is the backbone of any country.”
Giplin said that they were other fundamental issues that needed to be resolved before the land issues were resolved.
This came after Zimbabwe’s land ministry issued a directive that would see an end to the discrimination of white farmers as they have now been included on a 99-year land lease.
Under ex-president Robert Mugabe’s government white farmers were allowed to lease the land for only 5-years.
But, Mnangagwa’s government has scrapped that policy, with the country’s eight acting provincial resettlement officers being told that “there should be no more restrictive 5-year leases to white farmers”.