Mugabe family owns 39 farms, says report

31 July 2011 - 04:11 By Sunday Times Correspondent
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at the national Heroes Acre in Harare this week for the funeral of struggle hero Andrew Sikajaya Muntanga. Muntanga's son, Dominic, reminded mourners that Matabeleland has been neglected by Zanu-PF and government
President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace at the national Heroes Acre in Harare this week for the funeral of struggle hero Andrew Sikajaya Muntanga. Muntanga's son, Dominic, reminded mourners that Matabeleland has been neglected by Zanu-PF and government

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his family own 39 farms, according to a report by the outgoing president of the country' s Commercial Farmers Union .

In his address to the CFU congress in Harare this week, Deon Theron said Mugabe's claimthat blackZimbabweans had been empowered under the land reform rules wasa lie.

He said that less than 1% of the country's 1.8 million commercial farmworkers and their families had received land, and even then the land was often merely loaned to them under a system of political patronage.

"The continued use and occupation of the land is dependent on their political affiliation and loyalty. There is no genuine empowerment or farmer autonomy, there is no security of tenure and there is no collateral value to the land. It is a dead asset, which cannot drive its own development," he said.

Theron said Mugabe and members of his inner circle owned multiple farms - despite the government's policy of allowing no more than one farm per person.

"If the aim of the land reform was to evict whites and replace them with blacks then it can be deemed a success. However, if the aim was that it should benefit the majority and not only a chosen few, then it has been a failure."

X