By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
29 April 2014
Former Indigenisation Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has reportedly stated that only white Zimbabweans will be required to comply with ZANU PF’s indigenisation laws, as part of plans to ‘indigenise’ the Save Valley Conservancy.
Kasukuwere, who is now the Environment Minister in the new government, was quoted by the Cairo based news group Anadolu Agency, as saying that indigenisation is going ahead at Save Valley Conservancy.
“The ongoing discussions are basically about the inclusion of the rural communities who live in the areas surrounding the conservancy,” he was quoted as saying.
The minister stressed that only those properties owned by white Zimbabweans would be affected by the controversial indigenisation policy, which was originally meant to force foreign owned firms to give black Zimbabweans a minimum 51-percent stake in their shareholding. But in the Save Valley Conservancy, foreign owned properties will be protected.
“Foreign-owned properties will not be affected as they are protected under investment laws, but those [properties] of local whites will be,” Kasukuwere said.
National Parks in 2012 issued hunting permits to 25 so-called indigenous ‘farmers’ who were given land in the Conservancy under the government’s ‘wildlife based land reform’ exercise. The permits followed an invasion of the Conservancy by top ZANU PF officials, who were also beneficiaries of 25-year land leases in conservancies throughout the Masvingo province.
This included war vets leader Joseph Chinotimba, Major General Gibson Mashingaidze, Major General Engelbert Rugeje, Masvingo Governor Titus Maluleke, then ZANU PF Masvingo provincial chair Lovemore Matuke, then Deputy Health Minister Douglas Mombeshora, ZANU PF’s central committee member Enock Porusingazi, as well as ZANU PF MPs Alois Baloyi, Abraham Sithole, Samson Mukanduri and Noel Mandebvu.
Former Chegutu farmer Ben Freeth told SW Radio Africa that the situation exposes that the indigenisation campaign is nothing more than “a discrimination program taking place, on the basis of the colour of your skin.”
“It is very sad that just because you have a different colour skin that you are being targeted and you land and homes are given, to a large extent, to the chefs, to the people who are powerful in the party (ZANU PF),” Freeth said.
He added: “It is straight discrimination that goes against every human rights charter ever written.”
Freeth and his late father in law Mike Campbell led and won a landmark court case against Robert Mugabe and the land grab campaign. The SADC human rights tribunal ruled that the campaign was unlawful and inherently racist. That ruling, which still stands, has never been honoured or acknowledged by the ZANU PF government and instead the Tribunal has been hamstrung for daring to rule against Mugabe.
“(ZANU PF) have shown themselves to be people who will go against the law in any way, through murder, through genocide. This kind of discrimination is part of the way they have operated for a long time,” Freeth said.
He added that white Zimbabweans and their property and their rights are not protected anymore in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe’s constitution and courts do not allow white Zimbabweans to protect themselves. And it is sad for the whole country,” Freeth said.