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Government considers new proposals from commercial farmers

Zimbabwe’s government is looking at a new plan from the mainly-white Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) that seeks to solve the crisis on the land. Malcolm Vowles, CFU deputy director, told IRIN on Monday that the proposals agreed to at last weeks’ special CFU congress were being considered by the government. “We’ve handed our ideas to government and we’ve already had a positive response,” he said. Asked for details, Vowles said that the CFU did not want them made public. “We’re trying to keep this thing between ourselves and government at this stage,” he said. Last week, farmers pledged to work with the government to resolve the nation’s land reform crisis - this after an apparent split within their ranks. The farmers reaffirmed their support for their union’s current leadership, expressed their “absolute commitment” to negotiating with the government, and pledged to work to find a solution to the land issue. “We’re going to see a more conciliatory line from the farmers, but that’s just tactics,” economist John Robertson told IRIN. “Sticking to their principles hasn’t got them very far to date,” he added. Observers said the CFU was probably planning to give the government a percentage of land owned by its members in exchange for guarantees that no more land would be occupied.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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