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Mugabe warns against returning land to whites

Harare - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has warned black farmers who benefited from his controversial land reforms against giving land back to whites, state television reported Thursday.

The reforms, launched in 2000 and accompanied by violent evictions of white farmers, aimed to resettle blacks on 4,000

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. Photo: Mike Hutchings. Credit: Reuters

commercial farms.

“What annoys us... is where our own indigenous farmers sub-lease to the very same white farmers we took our heritage from yesterday,” Mugabe said while issuing permits to black farmers.

“If there are those who still believe that the land they acquired was to afford them places to visit over the weekend for braais (barbecues) and picnic parties or for prestige, then surely these will, sooner rather than later, lose the farms allocated to them.”

Mugabe said white Zimbabweans can own companies in the country but should back-off on land ownership.

He urged new black farmers to increase production to avert hunger.

“Land must be fully utilised for the production of food,” he said.

The land reforms have drastically reduced agricultural production, as most of the beneficiaries lacked both farming equipment and expertise.

Sapa-AFP

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