MUTARE – A former white commercial farmer Trevor Gifford has urged the government to swallow its pride and revisit the land reform programme to revive the ailing economy.
Speaking at a breakfast meeting organised by Zanu PF party under the Department of Indigenization and Economic Empowerment held at a hotel in Mutare recently, Gifford who is a former Zimbabwe Farmers Union president,said proper and well organised agriculture was the only solution to save the country’s economy which is on a downward spiral.
“Agriculture is the chief aspect that can revive the country’s economy.
“But what is needed to be done is to go back to basics.
“There should be sound policies that create an enabling environment in the agricultural sector,” Gifford said.
He said it was sad to see vast tracts of land lying idle and underutilised.
“There is plenty of land lying idle and if this land is utilised well it can be a solution to the country’s economic woes,” said the farmer who lost his farm in Chipinge during the height of the Zimbabwe land reform programme.
to grow if some policies are revised.
“Zimbabwe is an amazing country and has the potential to revive its economy,” Gifford said.
“I am a Zimbabwean and l am proud to be a Zimbabwean.
“But it is unfortunate that some of us are not being given equal opportunities as others.
“We want to fully participate to higher levels in some programmes that build and develop our country, but we are not given that chance,” he said.
The Zanu PF Secretary for Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Mike Bimha said the party was holding such meetings in order to have ideas and contributions that can revive the country’s ailing economy.
“We will be moving around the country to discuss and obtain the peoples’ contributions in as far as rebuilding the country’s economy,” Bimha said.
He said the issue of the revival of the indigenization laws has been top of the agenda.
“The issue of the revival of the indigenization laws has been topping the list and we will be looking at that seriously and come up with favourable solutions,” he said.
Zanu PF Central Committee member and transport mogul Isau Mupfumi said the series of meetings being held will chart a better way forward for the country.
“These meetings are so important and let’s take them seriously. Zanu PF is committed to development.
“This is what our President Emmerson Mnangagwa wants. His Excellency Mnangagwa is a genuine and committed reformer,” said Mupfumi.
“Let’s continue to support each other and our President because he aspires to nurture a culture of development.
“He has chanted the socio-economic future of Zimbabwe as a middle income nation by 2030. So this requires us together to consciously take part in the task of nation building,” Mupfumi said.
He emphasised that as Zimbabweans it was important to tell the international community a true Zimbabwean story and urged Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to support the government’s developmental initiatives.