Mugabeai??i??s 90 000 cronies

President Mugabe
Female Cialis without prescription, purchase lioresal. President Mugabe

An often-cited criticism of the Land Reform Programme in the Western media is the alleged distribution of land among Mugabeai??i??s cronies and Government fat cats, this at the expense of poor black peasants. This, we are told, has undermined an otherwise acceptable initiative. Fair criticism?

It is difficult not to suspect malice when otherwise reputable news agencies carry articles that are so violently contradictory as to not make sense.

Take, for instance, a report published by The Guardian newspaper on November 30 2010.
I quote from it verbatim: ai???Zimbabweai??i??s president, Robert Mugabe, and his allies have seized nearly half the countryai??i??s commercial farms in a land grabai??i?? (the) Zimbabwean president is said to have used land reforms to reward his supporters rather than ordinary black Zimbabweansai??i?? Mugabe has bought the loyalty of Cabinet ministers, senior army and Government officials and judges with nearly 5m hectares of agricultural land, including wildlife conservancies and plantations.ai???

The logical deduction from this article is that the land reform has benefitted a few elites which, if true, is a fair criticism; reporters must tell it like it is.

The problem is when the same newspaper only two years later, on the 7th of November 2012 to be precise, carries an article that says the exact opposite.

The article authored by the notorious David Smith makes for cheerful reading and I also quote from it verbatim: ai???There is hustle and bustle on the tobacco trading floors of Zimbabwe these days.

ai???After a decade of agricultural turmoil that crashed the economy, this sector is seen as one of the few bright spots.
ai???The cropai??i??s value has bounced back from A?105m in 2008 to A?330m this year. Moreover, whereas tobacco production was once dominated by a white elite, now TENS OF THOUSANDS of farmers are blackai??i??
ai???Matibiri, who claims to have the backing of both the president, Robert Mugabe, and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai, argues that more than 70 000 Zimbabwean farmers would suffer immediately under the WHO proposals…

ai???In Zimbabwe, according to the research, the industry employs 1,13 million people with 5,67 dependants and generates $579m in exports.ai???

There is no Caesar Zvayi here.
There is no Zanu-PF. It is just one British newspaper writing about Zimbabwe in two very different ways that are in contradiction.

Surely logic dictates that it cannot be true that the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe now has ai???tens of thousandsai??? of black farmers and employs ai???1,13 million people with 5,67 million dependantsai??? and at the same time also be true that the ai???Zimbabwean president is said to have used land reforms to reward his supporters rather than ordinary black Zimbabweansai??i??ai???

One of those statements is demonstrably false. The Guardian is free to pick which one.
The Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) reports that over 90 000 tobacco farmers have now registered as growers.

Where is Mugabe getting 90 000 ai???Cabinet ministersai??? and ai???senior army and Government officialsai??? whose support he must buy?

Is this not absurd in an obvious way?
Who are these 90 000 new tobacco farmers?

Are they Mugabe cronies and henchmen?
We have not spoken of cotton, poultry and other areas of agriculture that farmers are engaged in.

How many new farmers does Zimbabwe actually have if, by The Guardianai??i??s own admission, there are now ai???tens of thousandsai??? of new black farmers?

Mugabeai??i??s Government claims to have resettled over 200 000 households during the land reform.
These numbers have been vigorously disputed by some.

If it is the case that 90 000 black farmers have registered and are actively farming tobacco, how many more are not growing tobacco or are simply sitting on idle land?

Let us deny Mugabe any unproven credit and assume, even if illogically, that every single resettled household is now farming tobacco.

Would that then be an admission on the part of The Guardian that 90 000 households were indeed resettled? Would that in turn lead to the admission that it is not possible for anyone to have 90 000 cronies or henchmen?

If it is true that 200 000 households were resettled, who would those families vote for in an election? Letai??i??s not go there.

It gets even more interesting when you look at our unemployment numbers.
On the 29th of July 2013, The Guardian carried another article just before the July 31 elections.

I quote from that verbatim: ai???However, the economy is slowing, and unemployment is understood to be running at 85 percent, with youth unemployment a particular concern.ai??? Understood by who?

We have 230 000 civil servants. This number is not in dispute and many of our pseudo-intellectuals are keen to make it known to Government that these people must be retrenched before the earth opens up and swallows the whole country.

Now the reputable Guardian newspaper tells us that the tobacco industry employs ai???1,13 millionai??? people which takes us to 1,36 million people in employment.

The recent census shows our population at 13 million with 57 percent (7,41 million people) of the population in the productive age range of 15-64.

Now for some simple arithmetic. Let us be unreasonable and assume that there is no other form of employment in this country apart from joining the civil service (230 000) or being employed in tobacco farming or related industries (1,13 million people according to The Guardianai??i??s own numbers).

That would leave us with 1,36 million employed people out of a 7,41 million strong employment pool which is 18 percent (an overall unemployment rate of 82 percent).

We have not talked about other forms of farming.
We have not considered makorokoza.

We have not factored in legitimate mining activities.
We have not factored in any other facet of the economy apart from tobacco and civil servants and the widely circulated figures of unemployment close to 90 percent already looks idiotic.

And that is precisely the problem, we are a nation of gullible fools. Pseudo-intellectuals like Vince Musewe, froth at the mouth, regurgitating ridiculous employment numbers simply because a Dr Robertson has said it is so.

Our journalists are equally foolish and also parrot this nonsense.
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  • Disaster

    The biggest flaw in most of these opinion pieces is too much praise singing without accurate evidence to show that the land reform is indeed a success. We are still importing food whereas in the past we were the bread basket of Africa. President Mugabe recently threatened to ban tobacco farming because farmers have ravaged forests in search of fuel to cure their tobacco. In simple terms this land reform programme was poorly implemented without proper planning and resources. Of course some farmers can now afford a decent car and a satelite dish but how does that contribute to the country’s GDP and food sufficiency?

    • rukudzo

      Disaster, that is why there is monitoring & evaluation. The land reform had to be carried out if in the process mistakes were made, corrective measures will certainly be taken as we go along. When ever there is a revolution, something will not perform the same way as they were before because they will be transitional periods before land produces fully. Most of the previous white farmers you talk of as being successful did not become successful there and then. Some of their grand fathers died before even becoming successful farmers. It was their third generation which eventually became successful farmers. I know of one who was so heavily indebted and had to “walk” to Zambia to look for “n’ombes” because crop farming had put him into serious debt.(its there in the archives if you want proof) But when you look at his children today, they took over where they father left, turned around that farming enterprise and became successful farmers.In your disaster type denigration of land reform, you ignore all those facts and you want black to turnaround things in one season. Zvino uchasvotwa hama. Black farmers will succeed in less that the 100 years it took the whites to succeed.

  • Weston Mugocha

    Disaster, is GDP calculated less whatever Millions of dollars(US) the tobacco is bringing into the country. Food security starts with feeding one person. If say 230 000 families were resettled and each family does one hectare of cereal, it translates to 230 000 hectares and there is no family which can finish a hectare of its produce per season. It therefore follows that the rest is sold to feed those who are doing other jobs to make Zimbabwe tic,including probably you. Kana taguta we then export GDP yako iya yobva yakwira futi.’Of cause, its not as simple as this but I think it knocks a bit of sense into you and the like-minded

  • chatunga

    oh realy?