Sep

16

 "Zimbabwe seized white farmers’ land. Now some are being invited back.":

When Tracy Mutinhiri struggled to get her tobacco crop to grow, she turned to some of the country's most experienced farmers for help.

There was only one complication: They were white.

In Zimbabwe, farmland has been a central issue in the African nation's violent struggles over race. Fifteen years ago, the government began seizing property from thousands of white farmers and giving it to blacks as recompense for the abuses of colonial rule. But now, as agricultural output stalls, black landowners are quietly reaching out to white farmers who were thrown off their land.

"The problem now is that we have the land, but they have the experience," said Mutinhiri, a black landowner. "We need to help each other."

Ian Brakspear writes: 

Ex Zimbabwean farmer here. I had a 30,000 acre cattle ranch and 2,000 acre tobacco farm–both stripped bare. The house is a shell, as are the sheds and barns–water pumps, fencing, you name it, has gone and the land is unproductive–even the wildlife is not to be seen.

The "war veterans" that took over, sold everything and then came back years later and wanted a partnership – but they only wanted us to buy tractors, ploughs etc. and redo the barns for curing the tobacco and the sheds for grading and packing and then to transport the tobacco to the auction floors which used to be the biggest in the world – and in return a small % of the profit.

No one I know accepted these terms. I have not gone back in years – the deterioration is beyond belief. I'd rather keep the good memories than see the decline.

Marion is spot on. Mugabe needs to go, but the problem is all the good black Zimbabweans have left and are making good lives for themselves elsewhere


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