Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. File picture: Philimon Bulawayo

Johannesburg - ”No white person will be allowed to own land,” Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Wednesday.

He was launching a new farming settlement near his home in Mashonaland West.

“They can own industries and companies, or stay in apartments in our towns, but they cannot own land.

“We hear in some cases they are being protected by cabinet ministers and politicians within their constituencies. We will deal with that.”

Mugabe was speaking at an event where small-scale farmers, resettled since 2000 on farms taken from white people, learned that their right of abode on the land they were given, is changing.

Lands Minister Douglas Mombeshora recently began moves to void agreements given to about 220 000 families for small pieces of land since the land invasions began in 2000. The agreement was known as an “offer” letter, signed by provincial land officials. Those agreements will now be abandoned and the families, all resettled on land confiscated without compensation from white farmers, will need leases or permits to replace their tenure agreements.

The new permits are designed, Mombeshora says, to allow new farmers to raise loans, using their leases on land as security for the money they borrow to fund crops.

Details of the new leases are not yet complete but the government says sub-letting will not be allowed and those who fail to use the land they have been given, will lose it.

Multiple farm owners will also lose land beyond a single farm. An unknown number of white farmers who lost their land sublet from new owners. - Independent Foreign Service

The Star