Zimbabwe @ 41: The Land Question Resolved

By ZBC Reporter

THE major reason why the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe waged the armed struggle against the settler regime was the inevitable need to reclaim their God-given resource, the land.

As the nation celebrates its hard won independence in 5 days to come, we reflect on the major strides made in addressing the land question.

The guns fell silent in 1979 following the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the warring parties that is the occupying Rhodesian Front and liberation forces namely ZANLA and ZIPRA.

Ten years down the line after independence in 1980, the white commercial farmers, aided by the flawed Lancaster House Constitution kept on holding on to multiple large farms under the willing buyer willing seller set up.

On the other hand, the landless black majority continued to live under inhuman conditions in the arid and infertile soils better known as reserves.  

Enter 2000, hordes of villagers from Chief Svosve in Mashonaland East Province besieged white owned commercial farms, a move that ignited a nationwide call to revisit the objectives of the liberation struggle.

As a result the land question was supposed to be addressed as a matter of urgency. 

The government thus made the necessary amendments to the constitution, paving way for the historic land reform programme which benefited over 350 000 landless families countrywide. 

The land reform programme saw indigenous farmers venturing into the production of tobacco which was previously a preserve for the white commercial farmers.

According to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board, there are over 150 000 registered small holder tobacco farmers in Zimbabwe.

A freedom fighter and renowned farmer in his own right, the President Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa is on record saying that the land reform programme is irreversible.

At present, his administration is implementing the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy which seeks to achieve an 8 billion United States dollar agricultural economy by 2025.

The country is presently expecting a bumper harvest of maize attributed to the successful implementation of the Pfumvudza/Intwasa and the command agriculture programme during the 2020-2021 summer cropping season.  

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