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Cry for the land again

02 Sep 2020 at 06:21hrs | Views
By land is meant not merely land in the strict sense of the word, but whole of the materials and forces which nature gives freely for man's aid in land, water, in air and light and heat.

In Economics, the word 'land' is used not merely in the sense of the soil or surface of the earth as is ordinarily understood. It stands for all nature, living and lifeless. It includes all-natural resources that we can get free from air, water and land. It covers the land surface, whether level or mountainous.
It includes oceans, lakes and rivers, mineral deposits, rainfall, water-power, fisheries, forests and numerous other things which nature provides and man uses. The term ‘land' thus embraces all that nature has created on the earth, above the earth, and below the earth's surface.

Land as a factor of production is of immense importance. As has already been pointed out, everything that we use can be traced ultimately to land. Land may be rightly called the original source of all material wealth. The economic prosperity of a country is closely linked with the richness of her natural resources.

Generally speaking, it is true to say that a country is what nature has made it.
Land or nature has a determining influence in moulding the life, occupations and standard of living of a people.

Land as a factor of production is quite peculiar. It possesses some important features, which distinguish it from other factors of production.

Land is a free gift of nature. It can not be quantified and must not be given to foreigners.   Mbuya Nehanda and all Chimurenga heroes died for this land. For her trouble, Mbuya Nehanda has been left displayed in a human museum as a trophy in England. She will hear from her murders that the land she died for is being returned back to them by those she died for.

Mbuya Nehanda knew that land is not a ‘produced' or man-made agent. It was God given and it is worthy dying for.

Land is limited in area and will never expand. We are recreating children so people grow in large numbers and land remains the same.

Land is permanent and must never be distributed to strangers.
It is not easy to take it back. All other factors are destructible, but land cannot be completely destroyed. Even the havoc wrought by an atom bomb can be cured and natural powers restored after some time.

Land cannot be moved bodily from one place to another.  Land is a gift from God It is not man-made.

It has been 20 years since land reform and the issue of compensation for those who lost land has rumbled on. The government has always said it was committed to compensation of improvements (and not the land) and this was confirmed in the 2013 Constitution, which was supported by all parties and a public referendum.

The signing of the Global Compensation Deed Agreement by President Mnangagwa and Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union on July 29 was therefore an important moment to the white farmers and Mr Pompeo of America who has declared in the Bloomberg that the Zimbabwean government must return all the land to. The whitemen and none other. this was a crucial step in creating some sort of closure to the land reform episode, and getting on with supporting agriculture and boosting the economy while opening the wounds of many survivors of the war of freedom.  Independence without land is not independence. Zimbabwe has actually made several steps back by signing an agreement with the white farmers.

It is ironic that in the month comrade Robert Mugabe dies Zimbabwe commemorated his death by giving the land back to the white farmers who stole it from us in the first place.  
In fact the Zimbabwean government has already paid around 500 claims, with some quite large individual settlements and the greedy unthankful twisted the government arms a bit further now they are getting the land back plus billions of dollars in compensation. The state, the Commercial Farmers Union and various private parties, notably Valcon representing white farmers who lost the black man's land to the black man have attempted valuations over the years. Mugabe had remained steady fast in his resolve not to reverse the land program.

But the science of asset valuation is a mockery to the nation while the white victors claim that the valuation "has no value as some of which have disappeared and all have deteriorated after 20 years – is far from exact."Indeed with currency variations, hyperinflation and general economic chaos intervening, precise valuation is nigh on impossible. " Such is the arrogance of the White man, As a consequence, until now the overall deal remained incomplete with much wrangling over the numbers." This wrangling which was viewed as an insult by the zimbabweans has been vindicated by this agreement.

In a very insulting manner the White commercial farmers put up an estimate of US$5.4 billion (down from some earlier outrageously massive figures), while the government estimated US$1.2 billion was due. Others were still holding out for compensation of the land value too, and suggesting the total cost should be upwards of US$20 billion. so in the end the compromise had to be a political one, assisted by the thorough work of all those involved. The government finally gave in and agreed to give back the land and money on top.

Just wondering would Perence Shiri the late have read this agreement?  I wonder.
This was achieved in part because everyone needed a deal to be reached. The government was desperate to get international recognition, and the lack of compensation had been a long-running hurdle in discussions with Western nations and institutions.  So this was a total surrender by the Zimbabwean people. This deal stinks and it is a total betrayal.

"Meanwhile, commercial farmers who lost land were not getting any younger, and some pay-out as a pension payment and final closure was desired. In the end, the compromise over valuation spreadsheets was reached through diligent work and trust being built across all parties."  But fid anyone paused to think about those who were kicked out of the land, by the settlers. Did they not get young. Did the leave to see the total redemption of their land. Mbuya Nehanda was killed and her bones are in the UK as a trophy. What does she say about this deal?  Those who killed her are being rewarded by those whom she died for. Really.

To add salt to injury the white farmers Apparently made the valuation of ‘biological' assets (things like plantations) a sticking point, and a difficult one to put a number to. The same applied to land clearance – when was this done, and by whom and what did it cost? And what assets should be included as improvements – how many swimming pools, dog kennels and tennis courts were really improvements to the value of the farm property? And then there were the basic choices of depreciation rates, which inevitably had a big impact on the totals.

Credit to the teams of government officials, Valcon staff, independent assessors and consultants that a global figure was brokered. It can't have been easy?  Did any one remember the virgin land which was grabbed at gun point. Is someone hearing the screams of pain and fear when our forefathers were kicked out of the land. How much were they given as land.

Despite getting the land back some white camps are those believing that this was selling out and that full compensation for land was needed, despite the Constitutional settlement. This group is a small (but vocal) minority, unrepentant thugs.
Initially the idea of compensation seemed reasonable, yes the conditions were clear – this was improvements only and paid in US dollars, and BIPPA properties (those under Bilateral Investment Treaties) could still pursue compensation for the land in the courts.  But the Uturn is angering. Who was fooling who. ??  
Is this not a betrayal of the revolutionary ideals of land reform and that no compensation at all should have been paid?

This again is not playing politics. Land is what defines is. Zimbabwe is the only country we can call ours in the whole world. Some people seem to be missing the point, indulging in conspiracy theories is not patriotism. Those who voice their revulsion to this deal are not enemies of the state. They are offended Zimbabweans. Assuming that 3.5 billion dollars is paid, the payment of such a huge sum in the dire economic circumstances that Zimbabwe faces,  exacerbated massively by COVID-19 is it diligent.

In case we did not know the money will becoming from your pocket that is what is called tax payers fund.

official line is that half the sum will be raised as a sovereign bond with payments over 30 years,  meaning we are bonding our children to a debt which is perverse and vulgar.

There is perhaps no societal problem more wicked, more intractable and more tangled than losing land. forest degradation, food security, water security and climate must never be given in the hands of the few. By giving the land back to the whites we surrender our sovereignty.
Zimbabweans desire to be addressed on subjects connected with our present national difficulties to understand why as a people are we giving up on our land. But it will not be necessary for us to attempt to retrace the history of the war. It is written in the memory and upon the hearts of all our people. We desire only to be told some general views in relation to the purpose of that war. Was it not for the land or are we mistaken?  During that whole period subjects of the deepest interest have engaged all minds and hearts, from the fireside of the chambers of the President. By a clear understanding of this course the nation took more pride in taking back the land. What are we doing now. Have we endeavoured to perform our duty with hearts faithful to our rights and our honor, but we shall be the judges of our success.

Have we changed our opinion, that we know of, during the varying circumstances and in the fearful necessities of this war. Men may well change their opinions when circumstances change as they have done too often during the past forty years;and he is not a wise man, nor an expedient one, who does not employ circumstances and guide himself by them to some extent, always, however, being true to principle. We saw the size of this freedom fight but We could hardly realize the fact that war was to come in this fearful form upon us, nor could you. The idea Was strange to the Zimbabwean mind, that land issue will give us a headache in the independent Zimbabwe.

Throughout this great land no single individual could be pointed out, to whom the Government had done injustice; no man from whom the Government had taken property, or whose liberties had been encroached upon; no man who had been unjustly imprisoned for our land. So what has caused this abdication of our duty to protect our land.

Unless we are missing a point can we be enlightened. The land is still warm with the blood spilt for the land. The land is the only thing given the name mother. Mother land. Mother earth. So who is giving the mother away to the rapist.

Zimbabwe does not have to compensate anyone. We can not give this land back. Displaced Zimbabweans yearn for a compensation. Who will compensate them. Our grand Children will throw stones at our graves in anger. We will put our heads in the graves with shame. I can not imagine what I will tell Anesu my granddaughter about our land. Land is life and our land is our life.

Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

Source - Dr Masimba Mavaza
All articles and letters published on Bulawayo24 have been independently written by members of Bulawayo24's community. The views of users published on Bulawayo24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Bulawayo24. Bulawayo24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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