Mangoma: $200m needed to regain bread basket status: RENEWAL Democrats of Zimbabwe President, Elton Mangoma, says Zimbabwe needs $200 million for it to regain her former Southern Africa bread basket status.
Zimbabwe has been facing food deficit since 2000 when President Robert Mugabe’s administration evicted white commercial farmers from their properties without compensation.
The land grab exercise saw government violently acquiring properties covering 7.2 million hectares countrywide.
Mugabe defended the evictions, saying they were meant to redress colonial land imbalances.
Addressing journalists in Harare at his party’s Milton Park offices Tuesday, Mangoma said although his outfit supported the empowerment of indigenous people through land reform, grabbed properties were still lying idle.
Mangoma said to put to rest the land dispute which “has brought hunger” to Zimbabwe government should move away from a politicised household food security and embark on a national food security programme.
“This national food security can be achieved through a budget of $200 million and 10% of the land (200 000 hectares) currently being put under maize production.
“Suitable land will be selected and matched with suitable skills to achieve a minimum yield of eight (8) tonnes per hectare. This $200 million will be disbursed as loans through banks,” said Mangoma.
The former MDC-T deputy treasurer said all evicted famers should be compensated for the developments which they made on their land.
“This will allow us as a country to get assistance from development partners because we would have closed the land dispute amicably,” he said.
“It is unfortunate that Zanu PF wants to see people suffering and it has achieved its goal of impoverishing everyone through this exercise which was haphazardly conducted and remains on the international agenda.”
Government has indicated its willingness to compensate victims of the land grab exercise although it admits bankruptcy.