Speaking during debate on the Land Commission Bill, MDC-T Bulawayo Senator Michael Carter said the bill is racist and has impoverished nearly a thousand former white land owners and their black workers.
The Bill, framed by government’s land reform process, is provided for in the Constitution under Section 296. It stipulates the setting up of a Commission that would be tasked to carry out land audits and fair distribution of farms while the implementation of the Bill will repeal the Agricultural land Settlement Act, Land Acquisition Act and Land Act.
But Carter, a white Zimbabwean, said Section 21(2) of the Constitution restricts the right of individuals who are not indigenous citizens to own, lease or occupy State land adding that the draft law reminded one of the colonial white government’s laws which discriminated against blacks. Said Carter:
For the record, as a white person, I must protest that this Clause is discriminatory. Can a white person not be indigenous? In our Constitution, citizens are separated from indigenous people on a racial basis which is unconstitutional and will eventually be challenged. This discrimination is based on the same principle as applied by the Smith Government against black people. Do two wrongs make a right? About a thousand ex-white farmers are sitting poverty stricken in the towns around Zimbabwe. They have not been paid for their farms and they are not allowed to farm because they are white. They are second class citizens in their own land…