AUSTRALIAN ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mathew Neuhaus, says fresh farm invasions should be stopped as they discourage investment.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
New invasions have reportedly erupted again in Matabeleland where some white farmers are on the verge of losing their farms to land invaders.
Recently a white famer in Gwanda, who grows bananas, was ordered out of the 10 000 hectare property. He was accused of failing to co-exist with black villagers in the area.
In an interview Neuhaus said fresh farm invasions should be halted as they dented the country’s image.
“Any further land invasion, will discourage investors that may want to come into the agriculture sector,” said the ambassador.
Neuhaus said the government had no policy to invade other people’s farms and it was imperative that the stance should be respected.
“I am not aware of any government policy that allows new land invasions and the government should encourage investors,” he said.
He said people should respect the courts when it comes to land disputes. “I know some people who had problems and have gone to the courts and it is important that the courts are respected in this regard,’ Neuhaus said. Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development, Paddy Zhanda is also on record saying land invasions must come to a halt as they had resulted in serious food shortages.
The country faces perennial food deficit and has to import from neighbouring countries like Zambia and South Africa to cover the deficit.