Zimbabwe has intensified its war against white farmers. The land grab has already sparked severe food shortages and has contributed to massive inflation.
The country’s lands and resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora wants at least 163 white commercial farmers in Mashonaland East evicted with no compensation.
This follows after President Robert Mugabe recent vows to expel the country’s last remaining white farmers from their land.
“We don’t need a white man to continue to guide us. No. We are now equipped with skills,” Mugabe was quoted as saying during a party to celebrate his 91st birthday in Victoria Falls last Saturday.
The land grabs were set to continue despite Mugabe publicly admitting earlier that ill-equipped black “war veterans”, have laid to waste vast tracts of farmland seized from whites under his controversial land reforms.
But Mugabe nevertheless continues to reward his party cronies and political allies with farms confiscated from whites.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, more than 160 white commercial farmers in Mashonaland East province will soon be removed from their properties as the government says they are occupying the land “illegally”.
Meanwhile, News Day reported on Thursday that the European Union had warned Mugabe over his threat for more land grabs saying the move could ruin business re-engagement efforts between Zimbabwe and the EU block.
The EU recently lifted restrictions on most government officials, but retained Mugabe and his wife Grace on the sanctions list.
“Whites will never own land in Zimbabwe”
Mugabe and his ruling Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle only black Shona peasants belonging to his own tribe, to “correct colonial land ownership imbalances”.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms, together with black Ndebele peasants. Mugabe launched an ethnic cleansing campaign after independence in which 20 000 black Ndebeles were massacred by his ruling tribe.
The land seizures have often been violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers, but despite losing ownership, many have survived unlike their white South African counterparts.
Some “war veterans” from Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle claiming land, are teenagers or in their twenties, adding to the sad farce.