By David Mwanza
Zanu PF Chiredzi West Member of Parliament, Cde Farai Musikavanhu, has come out gun blazing in full support of Government decision to sign the Global Compensation Deed (GCD) saying the move demonstrates the Second Republic’s commitment to re-engagement and constitutionalism.
Cde Musikavanhu a beneficiary of the Land Reform Programme made his remarks during the Zanu PF Department of Information and Publicity’s tour of his Puwevhu Enterprises 155 hectare farm in Chiredzi. He is predominantly a sugar cane farmer with 100 hectares under the crop. He also dismissed as hogwash the opposition sponsored narrative that the GCD marked the first steps towards the reversal of the Land Reform Programme by the New Dispensation under the stewardship of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Government has clearly stated that the compensation is for infrastructural improvements that the farmers did on farms, which were repossessed at the turn of the millennium to redress colonial imbalances. These improvements include land clearance, drainage, irrigation trenching, fencing, dams and boreholes, as well as buildings.
The GCD has attracted the support of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU).
During the historical ceremony marking the signing of the agreement, CFU president, Mr Andrew Pascoe, noted that the agreement was going to make it easier for the country to mobilise resources and catch the attention of international investors. He said the signing of the GCD was a clear demonstration by Zimbabweans that if they put aside their differences to work together they could achieve more.
“I am convinced that we as Zimbabweans, if we continue working together in the spirit of unity as we have demonstrated so far, we will succeed and the recovery of our economy will become a reality, and it will bring to an end conflicts that have impacted all our lives. This agreement will send a clear and unambiguous message to both local and international investors that Zimbabwe is really and truly Open for Business,” Pascoe said.
Cde Musikavanhu urged Zimbabweans across the political divide to familiarise with the provision of the Constitution before making conclusive opinions that kill brand Zimbabwe. “Chiredzi West Constituency is primarily an agro industry economy and it is very important for us as a constituency to have a clear understanding of the provisions of Section 295 of our Constitution which talks to two elements in respect of two elements in respect to potential restitution on land. And I want to emphasise and underline the word potential.
“We are focussing in indigenous people whose land was acquired during the fast track land reform programme and settled. President ED Mnangagwa and the Zanu PF manifesto made it very clear in 2018 election preparations that the constitution will be upheld,” he said. He said Zanu PF was not reversing or reneging on the Land Reform Programme.
“There is talk now which is now being taken out of context driven by the regime change agenda to say Zanu PF is reversing or reneging on the land reform programme. That is very far from the truth. All what President Mnangagwa is saying is that we uphold the Constitution. “Those indigenous farmers whose land was taken are being given an opportunity to be repositioned on their land, failing which there is an option for them to be paid for the land and for the improvements. Alternatively, depending on the dynamics obtaining from farm to farm the indigenous farmers can be given another farm elsewhere,” he said.
He added: “Secondly, we have got farms that are governed by Bilateral country to country agreements. The so called Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) farms. They have got similar conditions to those of indigenous farmers in that there are underlying international economic provisions that protect investment in one country to the other. And those also hold true to our citizens who are operating in other countries. There is provision to also consider offering those farms back to the original farmers. Again depending on dynamics from farm to farm the Government is saying there is room for those BIPPA farms to be allocated land elsewhere so that our indigenous beneficiaries of land continue operating.”
My message is let us not be emotive about it, let us allow President Mnangagwa and his Government space to operate and execute on his vision. He is a legitimately elected President who is rightfully running the country and it is his room to consider how people benefit from the Land Reform Programme in a sustainable manner.