Tag Archives: Robert Mugabe

White farmers welcome back to Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe “white farmers” whose land was seized under Robert Mugabe rule can apply to claim it back or they will be offered land elsewhere if restitution proves impractical, the government announced on August 31.

Last month, Zimbabwe agreed to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to local white farmers whose land was forcibly expropriated by the government to resettle Black families, moving a step closer to resolving one the most controversial policies from Robert Mugabe legacy.

Under Zimbabwean laws passed during a short period of opposition government but ignored by Mugabe, foreign white farmers protected by treaties between their governments and Zimbabwe should be compensated for both land and other assets.

In that regard, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and Lands and Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka said in a joint statement that these farmers should apply for their land return.

In practice, in some instances the government would “revoke the offer letters of resettled (Black) farmers currently occupying those pieces of land and offer them alternative land elsewhere,” the ministers said.

However the transfer of the Black beneficiaries from the land could become difficult politically and practically.

“Where the situation presently obtaining on the ground makes it impractical to restore land in this category to its former owners, government will offer the former farm owners alternative land elsewhere as restitution where such land is available,” the statement said.

The ministers said other white farmers whose land had been earmarked for acquisition by the government but were still present on the properties, can apply to lease the land for 99 years.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has underlined the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West.

The programme still divides public opinion in Zimbabwe, where the number of white farmers has dropped to just over 200 from 4,500 when land reforms began 20 years ago, according to the predominantly white commercial farmers union.

The seizures of land that began four decades ago in an attempt to harmonise historical imbalances, later the expropriations were ratified by the government, which said they were needed to adjust to modernity the colonial heritage. As a result of this policy the florising agriculture that exported tobacco and roses and grew most of the food for the nation collapsed. Periodic food shortages ensued, the risk of famine has become real, and inflation became the world’s highest. The manufacturing industry was decimated. Robert Mugabe started his mandate as President of one of Africa’s richest countries, which under his leaderhip it became one of its poorest.

At present the World Food Programme (WFP) is urgently seeking to intensify the international support to prevent millions of Zimbabweans plunging deeper into hunger. 

According to the WFP, the number of food-insecure people is expected to surge by almost 50%, manning to 8.6 million Zimbabweans by the end of 2020. 

That figure represents around 60% of the population, the agency said in a statement, highlighting drought, economic recession and the COVID-19  pandemic as the main reasons of the crisis.

Galloping hyperinflation has signified that few families can now afford even basic food, WFP said, with the price of maize, the staple cereal, more than doubling in June.

Lola Castro, WFP’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, said that many Zimbabwean families were suffering “the ravages of acute hunger”, before appealing to the international community to help prevent “a potential humanitarian catastrophe.”

Mugabe buried in Kutama village

Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe was buried on October 28 in his home village of Kutama, ending an argument between his clan and the government of his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mugabe (95) died in a Singapore hospital on September from cancer after chemotherapy treatment was stopped because it was no longer effective. 

Mugabe and is family were bitter about the way he was ousted in coup-d’état by his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa. After Mugabe‘s death family entered a dispute with incumbent President Mnangagwa, who was represented by government officials, offering the burial at the monument for liberation war heroes. The proposal assessed by many as an attempt to use an opportunity to reach public reconciliation with Mugabe’s supporters.

Mnangagwa to attend Mugabe obsequies

Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, will address mourners of late Robert Mugabe at the National Sports Stadium, where thousands will wear the colours of the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Meanwhile African leaders are assembling in Harare, the capital, as the country prepares for former president Robert Mugabe‘s funeral on September 14 (Saturday).

Robert Mugabe family explained the late leader will be buried at the National Heroes Acre monument in Harare in “around 30 days”, Leo Mugabe said,  acting as family spokesperson, adding to controversial information about the obsequies details.

The government and the chiefs went to the Heroes Acre, showed each other where President Mugabe is going to be buried, and that place would take about 30 days to complete,” Leo Mugabe said.

So what that means is the burial will take that long.

More than a dozen incumbent and former leaders, including South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, are expected to attend. Some dignitaries, including Equatorial Guinea President Theodore Obiang Nguema, have already arrived.

A national sports stadium with capacity of 60 000 seats is expected to be filled with well-wishers. It is located in Harare close to the Heroes Acre.

The funeral follows an argument between the Mugabe family,  and the government over his burial.

Mugabe funeral in native village

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s ousted  President, will be buried early next week in his native village next to his mother’s grave,  and not at a national monument for liberation heroes, the family informed on September 12.

The Mugabe family members, who surrounded him when he died in Singapore hospital last week, and Zimbabwe‘s government have been at odds over whether the he could be buried in his homestead in Kutama, or at the National Heroes Acre in Harare.

“His body will lie in state at Kutama on Sunday night.. followed by a private burial – either Monday or Tuesday – no National Heroes Acre. That’s the decision of the whole family,” his nephew Leo Mugabe told AFP.

Mugabe’s legacy metastasis

Zimbabwe assesses the so-called “legacy” of Robert Mugabe, who was the national leader for 37 years.The majority of comments focus on his metamorphose from a liberator to a dictator, ruining the future of many to benefit of few. The social media users point at the bitter irony of the situation of the leader who promised to improve Zimbabwe healthcare system, but ruined it instead, and ended his days in a foreign land, treated by foreign specialists.

However the health care was not the only endeavor, damaged by mismanagement. While reflecting upon Mugabe‘s ‘legacy’ commentators point out that his policies had devastating effect on all the endowments, degrading the economy from what universally was regarded as “jewel” to a current state of deprivation, with five million people risking hunger, according to the United Nations World Food Programme, calling for immediate humanitarian action.

During almost four decades of leadership, Mugabe kept the grip on power by the brutal repression of political opponents, established a culture of impunity for himself and his cronies, and his government implemented a series of policies that have had disastrous consequences for the nation, ruining the wealth accumulated by hard work of generations.

Since 1982, Amnesty International has been receiving reports of human rights violations and abuses by state security agents, targeting suspected of sympathising with Mugabe’s political opponents.

Human rights defenders, journalists,  dissidents and opposition party activists were imprisoned on politically motivated charges or under oppressive laws. Many were tortured, and some forcibly disappeared, or killed.

 

Mugabe funeral causes controversy

Robert Mugabe (95) died September 6 early morning hours at Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital, according to Asian country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The cause of death has not been released so far, however taking into consideration his age, Mugabe passed away due to natural causes. The Singapore diplomats expressed their condolences and said the Ministry has been working with the Embassy of Zimbabwe on repatriating the remains to Harare.

Nelson Chamisa, leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) extended his condolences to the Mugabe family and to Africa this morning, saying that it was a “dark moment for the family because a giant among them has fallen.”

Unnamed family members disclosed that Mugabe explicitly refused a prospect of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his allies to perform his last rites having, because of removing him from leadership in a military coup in November 2017, 

The source suggested that Mugabe’s preference was to be buried next to his family members next to his  mother Bona at his rural home in Zvimba, Mashonaland West province.

 

Zimbabwe turns page of Mugabe era

The European Union began political talks aimed at turning the page on hostile relations during Robert Mugabe’s era, enabling a resumption of direct financial aid for the developing economy.

At the start of the open-ended talks between diplomats and officials in Harare (pictured), the European Union delegation to Zimbabwe Ambassador Timo Olkkonen announced they aim to discuss issues including economic development, trade, investment, rights, rule of law and good governance.

The government has already signed up to an IMF monitoring programme where it has committed to political and economic reforms in a bid to set a track record of fiscal discipline that could lead to it debt cuts, and future financial aid.

At a separate event in a Harare hotel, President Mnangagwa signed a new bill creating a tripartite negotiating forum intended to assemble labour, business and government to shape policies.

Protesters block roads in Harare

Zimbabwe protesters blocked the roads and burned tires in a suburb of Harare , two days after President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a considerable fuel price hike in an effort to stem a deepening economic crisis.

Cash shortages have plunged Zimbabwes economy into disarray, threatening widespread social unrest and undermining Mnangagwa’s efforts to win back foreign investors who massively left  under his predecessor Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa’s announcement of a 150% increase in fuel prices was received with shock in Zimbabwe where unemployment is over 80%. The government sets fuel prices via the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Agency.

Mugabe accepts Mnangagwa election victory

Zimbabwe’s former President Robert Mugabe said that he accepted the election victory of his successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa, IOL news site reports.

Mnangagwa won. It’s now constitutional… It was an election and his victory cannot be disputed. We now leave behind us the transgressions of yesterday.Mugabe told mourners on September 6 at his mother in-law’s funeral ceremony in the capital, Harare.

Mnangagwa vows to open probe into post-election violence

Zmbabwe‘s newly sworn-in President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed on Sunday, August 26 to open a probe into violence which followed the country’s first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted from power.

“To put closure and finality to the matter, I will soon be announcing members of the commission of inquiry into the said violence who will, upon completion, publish their findings,” he said shortly after being sworn in.

“This is a different Zimbabwe, the dawn of the second republic of our Zimbabwe” the President Mnangagwa.

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