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Mnangagwa's govt fails to fill gaps in compensation debate

06 Sep 2020 at 08:55hrs | Views
THERE are issues in the compensation debate to which government has closed its mind and, therefore, has miserably failed to justify the decision. They include government's failure to justify compensation in the first place, except by asserting the point that government was not compensating for land but for improvements.

information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa went viral and was ecstatic (if I may borrow Jennifer Williams' metaphor) in the weekly press briefing last week. I dealt with some of the issues in my open letter to the British ambassador last March, which was offered by the public media as a celebration of 40 years of independence. I was greatly flattered to be part of that momentous occasion. To my utter amazement, a follow-up article, which pointed out that government cannot compensate for an illegal act of taking land by force and then compensating the taker for improvements for which the British paid the farmer in terms of the August 1893 Victoria Secret Agreement, was rejected by the same public media editors.

the only person who had the last laugh (at my expense) in this regard, was the British ambassador to Zimbabwe. There are people in this country, who believe that one can quote politics as their defence when they betray the people they rule. Compensation is one such shameful example.

For many years Eddie Cross has been pushing government to compensate "the elderly" white former farmers. How many of them are still alive and how many of them were multiple farm owners? Both government and those who speak for farmers are not telling us. It is my argument that this is because both sides cannot justify paying compensation for the estate of multiple farm owners, who are dead just because the Victoria Secret Agreement said so.

It is my assertion that compensation is a whopping betrayal and an injustice to the African people of this country.

Government is not telling how those farmers, who have died since 1890 are going to invest their benefits from their graves. Zimbabweans are being sold a pig in a poke by a government, which is unwilling to account to the people of this country in a matter of such profound public interest. Why does government choose to conceal information of such public interest, while at the same time claiming that there are no white or black farmers? they are just farmers. Why then is government compensating dead white farmers and claiming this is not a reversal of gains of the land reform, thereby treating the people of this country like a bunch of village idiots?

Those who want to accuse me of grinding a tribal axe can go ahead and be my guests. I am extremely proud that I'm a member of Zimbabweans, who are called by my former editor Geoff Nyarota the "underdogs" of this nation. I'm extremely proud that occasionally I find reason to defend the underdogs without being carried away to lose my underlying nationalist persuasion as a Zimbabwean.

In December 1894 the British Parliament issued the Matabeleland Orders in Council, one of which ordered the seizure of 600 000 head of cattle as loot to be shared among those, who are currently being compensated for taking the land and doing their own thing on it. Is it a fair question to ask government when it is going to compensate the people of the former kingdom?

it is a matter of historical record that the foundation stock of cattle held by those who are being compensated were taken from the people of the former Matabele Kingdom. Are the people of Matabeleland entitled to claim compensation? Government can't claim the best of both worlds. In the so-called Ndebele Question, government would be well-advised to stop talking to those who are being used to sideline the people.

It is common knowledge that some of the people come from a line of clans in Matabeleland whose ancestors collaborated with those who benefited from the cattle that were seized from the Kingdom. these people have not shown any inclination to champion the cause of the people against their oppressors.

Jonathan Maphenduka contact +263 772 332 404

Source - the standard
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