All the formerly white-run—and prosperous—farms seized and handed over to blacks in Zimbabwe have collapsed and are barely at subsistence level.
This fact has emerged after authorities have admitted that the new “farmers” are unable to pay the most basic tax.
A report in South Africa’s Independent Online (IOL) newspaper dealing with the plight of the now elderly white former farmers—who were driven off the land by government-backed black mob violence—revealed that the farms have stopped producing anything valuable and have essentially regressed to tribal subsistence operations.
Quoting one of the white farmers, 80-year-old Brian van Buuren, the IOL said that he had lost everything during Zimbabwe’s so-called “land reforms.”
Van Buuren told IOL that after investing most of his money in his tobacco farm, he was left destitute when his land was seized by the government in 2010.
Today, Van Buuren is one of “many evicted elderly white landowners struggling to make ends meet as they wait for compensation that many fear may never come”—because the black farmers who were expected to provide the tax income simply don’t have it.
The “land reforms” consisted of black mobs running at least 5,000 white famers off their land, and murdering at least 12 who did not leave in time. These atrocities were overlooked by the anti-white controlled media, and Western governments pretended that the anti-white ethnic cleansing was not happening.
However, when Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe started sending his secret police and gangsters after black opposition figures, the Western governments sprang into life and imposed sanctions upon the country.
Earlier this year, as part of a range of “reforms” designed to try and relieve the sanctions, the Zimbabwean government pledged to compensate all the white farmers who lost their farms during the “land reform program.”
In September this year, Zimbabwean Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced that the government would pay $42.7 million to farmers in compensation.
As Zimbabwe has long been bankrupt, Chinamasa said “land rentals and levies paid by the beneficiaries of the land reforms” would be used to compensate the white farmers.
The flaw in the plan has however become apparent. As the IOL put it, in an understatement: “But today, many of the black farmers expected to fund the compensation through levies and taxes say they simply don’t have the money, thereby delaying the whole process.
“Very few had farming skills when the government resettled them, say experts, and can now barely make ends meet, let alone pay extra levies.
“The new farmers’ agricultural output is now a fraction of the level seen before 2000 when Mugabe introduced the land reform.”
The IOL article added that the fact that the “redistributed lands and farms are lying unused or abandoned is a particularly cruel irony for former farmers like Van Buuren who put everything into their land.” The IOL continued:
Having bought the farm in Manicaland province back in 1964, Van Buuren turned it into a successful tobacco farming entity and later diversified into banana farming with a local company.
Over the years, he invested in irrigation equipment, tobacco barns, fruit trees, tractors and two dams, as well as other infrastructure and machinery—all of which were seized.
“They took all my equipment and I only recovered two vehicles and a bit of furniture,” he said.
Although he now owns and lives in a modest house in Mutare, he fears for the future as his savings have run out.
“I had very few savings as I had invested all the money in the farm. We are now struggling to survive. I am worried. We just sit here. We can’t afford to go anywhere,” he said.
According to Van Buuren, all 12 white farmers in the Burma Valley area lost their land in the reform program. “Many farmers are now destitute,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by another farmer, Pieter de Klerk, who had to give up Kondozi Farm, a thriving horticultural export entity in Odzi, also in Manicaland province. “My children are now sustaining me,” De Klerk said. “It took me 50 years to build that place but all is gone.”
Another farmer, Schalk du Pless, said: “We are now supported by our children. Had it not been for that, we could have been dead.”
Du Pless and De Klerk, both in their eighties, live at a home for the elderly in Mutare. They are among many white former farmers of their generation who are struggling, said Mutare’s former mayor Brian James, whose own farm was seized.
“Some are destitute, particularly the elderly. Some (farmers) are desperately looking for jobs. Others have left the country,” James said.
However, with Zimbabwe’s unemployment standing at more than 80 percent, the chances of former farmers who are still able to work finding employment are slim.