Chris Mutsvangwa-led War Vets back President over land reform. The government made the undertaking by signing a US$3,5 billion Global Compensation Deed with the farmers in July. The compensation is provided for in Section 295 of the country’s Constitution. Only 37 farms were covered under BIPPAs.
War Veterans say they “strongly support” Government’s recent move to compensate white former commercial farmers, black Zimbabweans and investors whose land was covered by Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) for land lost during the land reform exercise.
Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA) chairperson Cde Christopher Mutsvangwa, on the sidelines of ZANU PF’s Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) meeting in Gweru yesterday, said it was time to mend relations and correct some of the anomalies that resulted from the fast-track programme.
“We strongly support the initiative because we are doing it for goodwill. We have been viewed as being cruel to white former farmers by expropriating land without compensation. We also lost foreign direct investment,” he said.
“So, we are hoping that once we have established good relations, we will get foreign direct investment. We have also been given sanctions based on the issue of land. So, America and other countries that had imposed sanctions on us based on the land issue will not have any reason for continuing to impose the sanctions on us.”
Earlier on while addressing the meeting, Cde Mutsvangwa said the liberation struggle was waged against a colonial system, and not against the white race. He also implored people to respect the Constitution.
“We fought a non-racial war against a racial system. It has been 40 years after Independence. The white people who remained in Zimbabwe are now Zimbabweans. We should not stigmatise them and do racial discrimination in the country. President Mnangagwa wants a united nation regardless of race, creed, religion and gender. We were supported by some white people during the war. Let us not recycle racism in the country,” he said.
Addressing the same meeting, Speaker of the National Assembly Advocate Jacob Mudenda said re-allocating the 37 BIPPAs farms to former farm owners was a constitutional provision.
“The issuing of tenure documents and 99-year leases as well as compensation of former owners are entitled by the Constitution. There are companies and individuals who were given land by the Government to come and farm in Zimbabwe. In terms of our Constitution and international law, President Mnangagwa said let us allow these 37 farms to be given back,” he said.
ZANU PF secretary for Legal Affairs Cde Paul Mangwana said the party estimates less than one per cent of resettled farmers will be affected by the possible return of farmers whose properties were covered under BIPPAs.
“There are very few farmers that are going to be affected by BIPPAs, but those that are affected will be given alternative farms. From our own calculations, it will affect less than one per cent of the people that were resettled, so it’s a very a small group that will be affected,” he told a ZANU PF Matabeleland South Provincial Coordinating Committee meeting in Gwanda yesterday.
Source – Sunday News
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