A new report suggests that former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has been leasing some of his land to white businessmen, contrary to what he has been demanding from other land owners.
Mugabe has advocated, discouraged and even threatened new Land owners from working with white farmers, or risk losing their fields. The fields were seized from white owners and given to Africans through the agrarian reforms.
"If you don't want to use the land, tell us openly not to clandestinely enter into arrangements with former white farmers coming from Johannesburg," Mugabe told a council meeting of more than 200 chiefs in Bulawayo in late October.
"We will chase both you and your white farmer from that land. This land was fought for," Mugabe was quoted as saying by the Sunday News.
But the new report reveals that the former first family went against the ‘rule’. They leased part of the Mazowe Citrus Estate to a company which has whites as the majority shareholders. This was reported by Zimbabwe Independent.
Further, the paper claims a top shareholder at CFI holdings, Hamish Rudland, said Mugabe, when still President, approached them through intermediaries. Mugabe expressed his interests after seeing how CFI ran another farm near Harare.
Under the deal, Mugabe was to get 5% of turnover.
The findings expose Mugabe's double standards. On one hand he campaigns heavily against Zimbabweans partnering with whites, then turns around and does the opposite.
The exposure comes to light at a time the new government is set to revise the ‘Indigenization’ law.
Minister of Finance Patrick Chinamasa said by revising the law, the country will attract back foreign investment.
The Indigenization law requires Zimbabweans to hold a majority stake in all local businesses. The law is said to have driven away potential investors.
In the naming of the cabinet last week, President Emmerson Mnangagwa dropped Indigenization Ministry.
Chinamasa added that the law would apply only to diamond and platinum extraction.
The Former President Robert Mugabe and grace Mugabe at a past event in Marondera, Zimbabwe
Image: Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi/AP