AFRICANGLOBE – Zimbabwe’s newly-appointed Mashonaland East provincial Minister of State, Joel Biggie Matiza, has threatened to evict the remaining white commercial farmers in the province, claiming that they continued to illegally farm through unsanctioned and corrupt deals.
Matiza told the state media that he supports the demands of Zanu PF supporters and war veterans who have recently called for the eviction of the white farmers from the province.
The Zanu PF supporters and war veterans claim that Mashonaland East remains the only province in the country with the highest number of white farmers who were being protected by sacked Mashonaland East Zanu PF provincial chairperson, Ray Kaukonde.
“Currently, I am in the process of establishing the exact number of white farmers who have no right to be on gazetted farms,” said Matiza.
“By end of January, I should be taking action together with the Provincial Lands Committee to quickly bring to sanity the issue of white farmers who have remained on gazetted land through unsanctioned and corrupt linkages,” he said.
Matiza hopes to appease thousands of restless and unemployed youths in the province who have also threatened to take over land from farmers who have been resettled under the controversial land reform programme.
“I intend to dismantle the corrupt architecture in land distribution, and take on board our youths and women. I will also adhere religiously to the 20 percent quota for war veterans in A1 Land Distribution and also consider them for A2 allocations,” Matiza said.
Matiza replaced Simbaneuta Mudarikwa as the resident minister for Mashonaland East. Mudarikwa was dismissed last month for his alleged links to Kaukonde and dismissed Vice President, Joice Mujuru.
Last November, war veterans in Marondera held a demonstration in the town calling for the removal of Kaukonde as the Zanu PF provincial chairperson and during the demonstration also accused the white commercial farmers in the province of fanning factionalism in Zanu PF by giving financial assistance to dismissed Mujuru through Kaukonde.
Mujuru was accused of using the money from the farmers to fund her ambitions to succeed President Robert Mugabe.
After the demonstrations, the remaining white farmers said preparations for this season’s summer cropping had been seriously hampered as there was uncertainty.