By Staff Writer
A WHITE former farmer who lost his farm during the controversial land reform programme in the early 2000s has said that the majority of his peers lack of trust in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to hand back some of the farms to the whites, adding that when it becomes convenient for Zanu-PF to grab back the farms in future, it will do so.
Government recently gazetted a Statutory Instrument that seeks to return farms falling under Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) to their original owners or pay them full compensation that includes land and improvements — something that has been interpreted by MDC Vice President Tendai Biti as a reversal of the Land Reform Programme.
Dr. David Jesse, who told this publication that he is a former Zanu-PF card holder and anti-apartheid activist of Jewish extraction, now lives in the diaspora after losing his farm, but has kept a close tab on the developments back home in Zimbabwe.
There was a heated discussion in Parliament this week, with Norton MP Temba Mliswa (INDEPENDENT) and Harare East legislator Tendai Biti (MDC Alliance) accusing Government of trying to please a certain hidden clique of former white farmers by returning the land to them with the hope that US sanctions on Zimbabwe will be eased.
Biti had indicated that the land issue was so important that any changes should be done through amendment to the Constitution to allow legislators and members of the public to express their views, but resisted what he said were attempts by a cornered Zanu-PF to return back the farms to white former farmers.
Speaking exclusively to Zimbabwe Voice, Dr. Jesse said both the MDC and Zanu-PF were using the land issue to settle their political scores, and not to permanently address the issue of food security in Zimbabwe which is tied to resolution of the land question.
“In 1992, Zimbabwe was the net exporter of grain to Africa, save for drought years. In 2020, Zimbabwe cannot feed itself and is soon to be decimated which will probably wipe out two-thirds of the population because of weak health care system resulting from underperforming economy and by extension decimated agricultural infrastructure.
“When the farms where all taken 3 500 000 workers lost their jobs. This resulted in the micro economies and then macro economy failing. About 8 million Zimbabweans now live in the diaspora.
“There is no food and no farming taking place in Zimbabwe right now. There’s no fuel, no medicine, no jobs, no water, no
electricity, no rule of law, no infrastructure; no clean cities. Even Harare is a cesspool.
“Zimbabwe has no future and no hope of resurrection as long the land issue is not addressed without politicking by both Zanu-PF and the MDC,” said Jesse.
Dr. Jesse, a holder of a Ph.D in agricltural science, says he is farming and owns thriving businesses in his new country of residence, and says other white former farmers like himself have settled well in their adopted countries even though their ties with Zimbabwe remain in place.
He ruled out that anyone who was kicked out of a farm twenty years ago would want to come back, as the farms have since been vandalized while the tight community the farmers enjoyed has been destroyed.
Relating to statements by Shiri that Government is not seeking to reverse the land reform, Dr. Jesse said even if the farmers do come back, there is no longer trust that Zanu-PF would not repossess the farms once its stranglehold on power is threatened.
“Shiri and Biti’s innate responses to the land issue are both emphatic and neo colonial. Shiri hates ‘whites’ in general, not the particular group of colonialists.
“As for Biti, he is just a plain idiot. We can all see through his dilatory demeanor and he harbours a ‘wannabe’ president desire.
“He is delusional and suffers from a Christ complex. He thinks just throwing around the issue of land compensation will earn him support as happened with Tsvangirai. It won’t work.”
Clarifying the Statutory Instrument at his Ngungunyana offices this week, Minister Perrance Shiri said the land reform was irreversible.
“The Land Reform Programme is final and irreversible. Any sentiments to the contrary are false and are to be dismissed with the contempt they deserve. It is false to say that there is an intention to return land to the previous white commercial farmers and reverse the gains of the land reform. It is equally false to state that the SI is designed to evade paying compensation to indigenous farmers, rather it creates an avenue for these farmers to exercise that option to acquire title and continue with farming activities or opt for compensation.”
Jesse labelled Minister Perrance Shiri as being of the ‘old brigade’ just like MDC Treasurer-General David Coltart – and both “need to go.”
“Zimbabwe needs not to address black / white issues but ‘citizens’ and ‘liberals’. I am Jewish, non-racist and only have Zimbabwe’s best interests at heart. That I am white is irrelevant. But the way people like Shiri on one hand and the likes of Coltart and Biti on another hand make us see we cannot trust both the MDC and Zanu-PF with the future of this country’s farms,” he said.
He added that Zimbabwe needed a rebirth, a shift from the current Zanu-PF and MDC binary as it was too polarizing to benefit the ordinary people or any serious farmer for that matter.
“Zimbabwe requires rebirth. Rebirth comes at the exclusion of all the ‘old politicians’. It requires a new ‘young’ government of all stake holders compiled of born-frees. A government comprised of races and all tribes that can call Zimbabwe home. That cannot happen with these two brawling parties.
“If Zimbabwe is to rebuild and reclaim its former glory it requires expertise. I am an example. But who can lend expertise to either of these two binary systems controlling the Parliament?”Dr David Jesse – Zimbabwe Voice
Dr. Jesse says he created a literacy system which all Republic of South Africa primary schools use.
“Just go on Google and search ‘luluspolight – David Jesse. That’s me helping the people of South Africa. Yet my expertise and love of my black brothers is lost to Zimbabwe . And it’s not just me who could be lending expertise to our home country; there are millions others in the diaspora who fled with their skills and expertise because of the political systems in place on Zimbabwe.
“No one in either Zanu-PF or MDC is trusted. They are radicals from either side of the divide. They both need to go. No one trusts Mnangagwa, but more empahtically no one trusts Perrance Shiri.
“We’ll come home, rebuild the farms which they have looted, and be tossed out again when it becomes politically convenient for the Harare regime. So, whatever lure they’re putting in place to trick experts to come back to Zimbabwe, it won’t work until the systems are swept clean.”Dr David Jesse – Zimbabwe Voice
On statements by Minister Shiri that black people will not have their farms taken away, Jesse said the issue of farms should never be about race or tribe but competency and skill, as is the case in any other sector, sport or industry.
“It can’t be about black or white. It has to be about rebirth of mindset. Rebirth means no ‘white colonials’ and no ‘black neo colonials.’
“I was born and bred in Zimbabwe. I hold a Zimbabwe passport and will never give up my citizenship. All I want to do is come home to a system that allows me to thrive in what I know best. But as it is, I come home to what? To more colonial era
bullish!t? All that Mnangagwa and Shiri are, as is Tendai Biti and his tribe of MDC, are a new version of Ian Smith all over again, just that this time it’s blacks on whites.
“Zimbabwe is in its ‘last chance’ if you will. If it passes up this opportunity, it will be destroyed completely and another coup will ensue,” Dr. Jesse warned.
To former farmers like Dr. Jesse, it is not just a matter of getting back onto the land. He says whole communities have been destroyed and the neighbours and friends he knew are dead or have fled to other countries, so he sees no point of returning again to a piece of land that now looks “as though it’s 1900.” – Zimbabwe Voice
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