Zimbabwe’s opposition, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has reportedly accused President Robert Mugabe of owning more than 14 farms, in a development seen as contravening the country’s constitution on land.
According to New Zimbabwe, the PDP, which is led by former finance minister Tendai Biti, said that Mugabe owned vast tracks of land, which included his dairy farm Gushungo Dairies, Gushungo Estate as well as Mazowe Iron Mask estate.
PDP spokesperson, Jacob Mafume claimed that Mugabe had failed to reign in on corruption because he was also deeply involved in unfair distribution of resources.
He said that this was a direct contravention of Section 293 subsection 2 of the country’s constitution, which stated that: “the state may not alienate more than one piece of agricultural land to the same person and his or her dependents.”
Mafume’s accusations came just a week after aZimbabwean white farmer was sentenced to 12 months in jail after refusing to comply with a directive to move out of his farm at the height of the country’s controversial land reform programme.
Phillip Valentine, 40, was reportedly dragged before magistrate Poterai Gwezhira to face a charge of contravening the gazetted land act.
Valentine was sentenced to 12 months in jail or pay a $600 fine.
Reports indicated that the veteran leader and his Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.
Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.