Former Finance Minister Tendai Biti has called for a full independent audit to be conducted on land ownership in the country following the seizure of a farm belonging to Robert Zhuwao, a nephew of the late former president Robert Mugabe by Kirsty Coventry, a former Olympic gold medalist.
Writing on his Twitter handle, Biti characterised the ruling ZANU PF elite as a motley of gangsters, looters and highway robbers who hijacked the land reform programme for self-aggrandisement. Said Biti:
Reports of Kirsty Coventry grabbing a farm without due process should not surprise anyone. This regime is nothing but a motley of gangsters looters and highway robbers. The land reform program was never about historic injustices but self-aggrandizement. Zanu elites took the land.
ZANU elites are multiple farm owners almost without exception. They have refused an independent land audit into farms They continue to loot state coffers through subsidies such as command agriculture and GMB floor prices for grain. They underpay farmworkers and don’t pay for utilities.
The land is a vital resource and land reform must be rationalized and democratized. The full independent audit must be done, land market and the land bank must be restored, title and security of tenure must be given. One household, one farm and maximum size of farm per region must be maintained.
Zhuwao has approached the courts seeking a spoliation and prohibitory interdict against Coventry who is now the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation