Addressing farmers at the Zimbabwe Farmers Union 77th annual congress held in Marondera last week, Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said that land was not redistributed on racial grounds.
We are not racists. I went to Washington dealing with issue of white former commercial farmers who had challenged Government in court and they were saying the land reform was racial because land was taken from the whites and given to blacks. But the truth is that it was not racial. We could not take away land from the blacks, they did not have the land. We only took from those who had it and those who had the land were white farmers, so it is not a racial issue.
Land reform was actually meant to bring in the previously marginalised population and these are the resettled farmers. This is why up to today we have (white) farmers who are still operating here who were operating before independence and we want to work with them. Those who want to work with us are welcome to be with us and we welcome to be with them.
When we look at the land reform, we want to include as many people as we can in the economy of the country. So ZFU we want to see you including all farmers who are on the ground — black, white and Indian. All those farmers let them be part of your organisation. So that we talk on the same page. We move together with the same agenda for our country to boost its economy.