President Robert Mugabe has been rather vocal about the land reform programme ever since the late 1990s. Giving back the land to the people has been one of his driving forces over the last 20 or so years, though so may say that he had ulterior motives.
Compiled below are just 7 quotes, that we’ve found to be striking, showing a side of Mugabe that a number of us have become familiar with.
Are there any comments that he has made in regards to the land redistribution programme that we should have added? Feel free to add them in the comments below.
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True, some land was bought by a few Cabinet Ministers. They bought the land. No minister, to my knowledge acquired land which was meant for resettlement. ….. But there are certain officials in government who are leasing land that is for resettlement. Before it’s resettled land is acquired, and before the Minister has actually funds for resettlement, you would rather lease the land, so that some money can actually be made out of that process of leasing. And this is what has happened. The land has not been acquired permanently by those who are leasing it.
March 1998, Responding to land not going to poor people. Australian Broadcasting Corporation
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We are no longer going to ask for the land, but we are going to take it without negotiating,”
April, 2000. Speaking at a campaign rally near Bindura, 50 miles northeast of Harare.
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They have expressed their concern. What concern? We just want our land and will take it the way we know how. What can they do?”
May 2000, Responding to Commonwealth concerns about the use of violence to seize land.
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The courts can do whatever they want, but no judicial decision will stand in our way… My own position is that we should not even be defending our position in the courts. This country is our country and this land is our land… They think because they are white, they have a divine right to our resources. Not here. Never again. The white man is not indigenous to Africa. Africa is for Africans. Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans.
December 2000, ZANU PF Conference, Harare
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The land is ours. It’s not European and we have taken it, we have given it to the rightful people… Those of white extraction who happen to be in the country and are farming are welcome to do so, but they must do so on the basis of equality.
Undated but pre-2005, unknown location
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The land reform is the best thing that could ever have happened to an African country.”
September 2009, CNN interview at the side of the United Nations General Assembly
We did not send away whites. We took away land in accordance with what the British and ourselves had agreed upon, Margaret Thatcher’s government. That commercial land reform programme, land shall be taken from the farmers and be given to the Zimbabweans. So, it was all constitutional.
If Blair’s England was no longer willing to pay for the land, should we have just folded our hands and said, ‘Oh, Lord almighty, I pray in the name of the father, the son and the holy ghost’?
April 2015, State visit to South Africa, first in over 20 years
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