The Zimbabwean government is investigating circumstances surrounding a video circulating on social media where a white farmer is being asked to cede half of his farm to a black person who claims to have obtained an offer letter from the government to occupy the land.

“Regarding a circulating video depicting a land dispute on an unidentified farm, government seeks more information so as to facilitate an investigation.

“Government policy regarding the need for normalcy to obtain on farms still holds. Our economy requires sanity and productivity on all farms,” a tweet by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services said on Monday.

The unidentified farmer from Chipinge, southeastern Zimbabwe, filmed the video in which he told a policeman that he was aware that an offer letter for half his farm had been signed on Jan. 10, 2019, and he was contesting it.

“My lawyers have advised me not to have any interaction with the apparent so-called beneficiary Mr Mbudzana and not to allow him on the farm, so that’s the position until I hear from the High Court,” he said.

The police inspector said the farmer had no right to bar a beneficiary from entering the farm unless he had a court order and that he was being charged with occupying gazetted land without lawful authority.

The person claiming to have been offered the land, Ashirayi Mutirikwi Mawere, also visited the farm and told the farmer’s manager, Richard Bolton, that he would in due course take over the manager’s house on the farm.

Brandishing an offer letter, Mawere demanded to be shown the 229 hectares of land on which he would settle, while the farmer said the whole two lots on his farm were fully developed plantations.

The farmer said he had a successful integrated export operation for which he was about to start the process of acquiring a 99-year lease in line with the government’s land occupation policy.

He reminded Mawere that there was plenty of empty land and unused farms in Chipinge District which he could use.

The incident is reminiscent of the events that happened in the early 2000s when landless blacks invaded white-owned farms in often violent scenes which left several white farmers dead. Enditem



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