MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has, in the event of winning this month’s crunch national elections, ruled out his government repossessing land from thousands of people who benefitted from the 2000 chaotic agrarian reforms.
Addressing party supporters in the once prime farming area of Mvurwi in Mashonaland Central Province at the weekend, Chamisa said he would empower resettled farmers by giving them title deeds to access loans from the banks.
“All of you who got land under the land reform programme should not worry that we will take your farms because we are not like Zanu-PF that gave you that land half-heartedly insisting on unbankable 99-year leases which do not give you real ownership like title deeds as we will do.
“We are saying once we start to govern, we are not going to be taking land from anyone but we are saying we need title deeds because we want Mashonaland Central to be the hub of our agrarian reform.
“We also want to make Mvurwi a gold capital under our spatial development programme that emphasises the use of local resources to develop local communities; we must restore Mazoe Citrus Estate because we want real farmers who have support from government and access to funds by using title deeds,” Chamisa told the gathered crowds.
Former president Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF embarked on chaotic agrarian reforms in 2000 after they lost a constitutional referendum in which they were pushing for a “Yes” vote to write a new constitution.
The reforms were marred by bloody campaigns against the white commercial farmers who were displaced from their farms without compensation.
Since then, Zimbabwe has been struggling to return to its status as the bread basket of the region due to low agricultural production and poor funding.