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Mugabe elite exposed in new list of land seizures

 SW Radio Africa 02 May 2019

Robert Mugabe and his cronies have once again been exposed as the top beneficiaries of the unlawful land grab campaign, in a new report published last week. (536 Words) - By Alex Bell

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The report by Zimbabwe's Daily News newspaper shows that Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, as well as most ZANU PF cabinet members and top military personnel, own multiple farms across the country. The list shows that the land grabbers own a staggering five million hectares of Zimbabwe's best agricultural land, which is a third of all the land seized over the past 11 years.

The list says the Mugabe family owns at least 13 farms, covering more than 15 000 hectares, while Robert Mugabe's close relatives own more than 20 farms. The relatives include Mugabe's sisters and nephews Leo Mugabe and Patrick Zhuwao. Leo Mugabe owns three farms, Nangadza farm in Mhangura and Journey's end farm in Makonde, Mashonaland East province and another farm believed to be in Banket. Zhuwao owns Marivale farm in Mazowe.

Mugabe's late sister Sabina's farm is listed as Rem Ext of Mlembwe in Makonde, while the First Lady's late brother, Reward Marufu, is listed as owning Leopards Vlei farm in Glendale and Kachere farm in Mazowe.

At the same time, Mugabe's deputy Joice Mujuru, her husband Solomon Mujuru and many of their relatives are said to own at least 22 farms.

Among the military top brass listed as beneficiaries are the Commander of the defence forces Constantine Chiwenga and Air Marshall Perence Shiri, who have two farms each. Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri is listed as having one farm.

Almost all ZANU PF politburo members, MPs and senators were also allocated farms, as well as many traditional leaders and top judges.

The Daily News report supports the information revealed by an investigation by the ZimOnline news service last year, which also exposed that Mugabe and his cronies are the country's top land barons.

The ZimOnline report shows that, contrary to Mugabe's claims that the land grab was for the benefit of the nation, a "new well-connected black elite of about 2,200 people now control close to half of the most profitable land seized from about 4 100 commercial farmers." The report said that Mugabe and his top allies control nearly 40 percent of the 14 million hectares of land seized from white-owned farms since the land grab began in 2000, which "if put together are the size of Slovakia." 

John Worsley-Worswick from Justice for Agriculture (JAG) told SW Radio Africa on Wednesday that these reports reaffirm the critical need for an independent land audit. He said the reports are no surprise, but emphasised that an audit is necessary "to hold these guys to account."

Worsley-Worswick said that the land grab has been nothing more than "an insidious political programme that has allowed and legitimised looting." He added that the land "beneficiaries" are "the illegal recipients of stolen land.

"This is theft, that is all it comes down to, and an audit needs to hold these people accountable for the destruction of the economy, the rights violations that have occurred on the farms during jambanjas, everything," Worsley-Worswick added.

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