Mnangagwa protected white farmers


Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said that he had personally protected white farmers, especially in the Midlands, from being driven from their lands at the height of the land reform programme.

“I have kept this a secret, but let me tell you now: The majority of you are still here because of Neville (Coetzee) and his wife,” he was quoted by the Daily Telegraph as telling mourners at a memorial service for 74-year-old Estelle Theresa Coetzee, a dairy farmer and philanthropist who died last week.

“Every morning they would be at my house bothering me left and right to protect you. If you did not know it, it’s because of the good nature of the Coetzee family, who I have worked very well with over the past 40 years, that you are still here….

“Here in Midlands we stood our ground to avoid disruptions of the dairy industry and convinced the party leadership. As a result, Midlands is now the number one dairy producing province in the country,” he said.

Although the British paper said Mnangagwa had called it a secret, it appears this was a policy adopted by the province which was headed by Cephas Msipa as provincial governor at the time.

Msipa said he had the backing of then Vice-President Joseph Msika, Social Welfare Minister July Moyo, also the ZANU-PF Chairman for Midlands, and Speaker of Parliament Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Msipa told United States embassy officials that he had successfully stopped the acquisition of the dairy farms, arguing that to seize the farms would adversely affect milk production. He also said he had convinced national authorities to delist a successful game lodge in Midlands, although the owners have not received confirmation of this.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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