Youths to get agric land – President Mnangagwa
Harare, (New Ziana) – Youths who are keen to join the country’s agricultural revolution will be given preference when government starts to reallocate land which has been repossessed from multiple farm owners and is currently underutilised, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said on Saturday.
President Mnangagwa, who was addressing mourners at the burial or national hero, Griffiths Mpofu, said the country’s historic land reform would become much more meaningful to the younger generation if they also benefitted from it.
“I am aware that our youths are crying out for pieces of land and are eager to work the land. The enquiry we launched on agriculture land has identified lots of land which is vacant, underutilised and belonging to multiple owners,” President Mnangagwa said.
“Government will repossess that land for on-leasing to the landless, foremost among them the youths.”
Zimbabwe embarked on a historic land redistribution exercise aimed addressing colonial land imbalances which favoured minority whites at the turn of the new millennium.
Over 400 000 black families were allocated land which was compulsorily acquired from mainly whites.
While most of the land was redistributed to the older generation, a new wave of young farmers, under a movement called #ZimAgricRising has taken the nation by storm, with an increasing number of youths yearning to be allocated land for agriculture purposes.
“Our land reform programme must validate its justness by delivering to this generation of youths,” he said.
“Agriculture stakeholders must nature our young population who are rearing to join the agriculture revolution already underway. The rains have been good, the land must be made to produce like never before.”
President Mnangagwa lauded heroes like Mpofu, who died on Tuesday aged 66, for having fought the war of independence to deliver the land to the people of Zimbabwe.
“Today the instruments of political power and authority which our independence delivered, should now be harnessed towards consolidating our heritage and giving us a secure place in the world. The land has come, we must cultivate it so that our economy recovers and grows. Agriculture is the backbone of our economy,” he said.
A boom in agriculture production would allow the country to explore export markets which are in dire need of produce and aid the economy’s recovery through foreign exchange earnings.
Meanwhile, President Mnangagwa lauded Mpofu, a former police deputy commissioner, for having diligently served the nation.
Besides having fought in the war of liberation, Mpofu served in the police force for 24 years, and rose through the ranks to become the second most powerful police officer in the country in 1999 till his retirement four years later.
“We have lost a repository of knowledge and a true patriot of our country. He never wavered in the course of serving the nation and government, particularly with regards enforcing and ensuring law and order and safety, hence we honour him in this befitting way, resting him amongst his wartime comrades” he said.