AFRICANGLOBE – White farmers still occupying African land in Zimbabwe must brace for more land reclamation after President Robert Mugabe revealed Saturday that his government was investigating how many of them managed to maintain their grip on some parcels of African land.
“We don’t need a white man to continue to guide us. No. We are now equipped with skills,” Mugabe told thousands of guests to the lavish celebrations for his 91st birthday held at Victoria Falls on Saturday.
The veteran leader further said his government may consider reducing the size of some farms owned by Black beneficiaries to benefit upcoming generations of youths who need to go into farming.
Mugabe singled out ousted Zanu PF Mashonaland East chair Ray Kaukonde for harbouring more than 160 white farmers in the agriculturally rich province.
This, he said, was revealed to him by the lands minister last Thursday, adding that the probe was spreading to the entire country.
“In Goromonzi alone there are still 40; from Goromonzi to Mutoko, Murehwa further there; 123 mind you, this is Mashonaland East,” President Mugabe in a speech which was televised live on national television.
“Some of our leaders were hiding them in farms and saying the farms had been given, so l said let’s stop here, 40 and a hundred and twenty three in just a small district of our country.
“…they (whites) are still in the farms hiding. How many farms are those; a hundred and twenty three farms plus 40 that is a hundred and sixty three farms that were being hidden by the likes of Kaukonde.”
Mugabe said Zimbabwe was endowed with precious animals like elephants and lions but the safaris were still being occupied by whites who clandestinely organise with friends from abroad to exploit the wildlife for their own good.
“They still have farms and privately they arrange with visitors in America to come,” he said, “they do their hunting and pay themselves, kill animals, carry trophies with themselves.
“We don’t know all that. There is no sufficient supervision but we are now going to invade these forests.
“Our people cannot be suffering and even suffering from sanctions by the United States when the United States has lots of land occupied by their people as safari owners.”
He added: “They can’t have it both ways, if they want to be friends they must be friends with us in total and we allow them to have some safaris on friendly terms but they cannot say ‘allow our people to visit, allow our people to have safaris to kill our lions and take trophies to America’.”
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