Land for Votes : Mugabe’s plan for returnees

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Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe yesterday promised to parcel out land to Zimbabweans living in South Africa if they return home.

from our correspondent in Harare

“We have land for our people in South Africa who may want to return
home,” Mugabe said in a rally kicking off his campaign for the June 27
presidential run-off election. The theme for Mugabe’s re-election campaign is “100 Percent Empowerment, Total Independence”

Zimbabweans are among the African migrants targeted in a wave of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Mugabe has been addressing a rally of the governing Zanu-PF party, a day after opposition Movement Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangarai returned to the country, vowing to defeat him.

Some 3.5 million people have fled to South Africa and other countries to
escape impoverishment in an economy where inflation is over 165,000 percent, four in five adults have no job, and food and fuel are in desperately short supply.

But political analysts quickly dismissed this as cheap politicking by Mugabe. They said he and his party have nothing new and appealing to offer Zimbabweans hence their constant use of land as a campaign tool.

Chris Chiroro, said “Any sane Zimbabwean knows that what Mugabe is saying is just an election gimmick. Where will he get the land that he is promising the people” he asked.

He said Mugabe is exploiting the xenophobic attacks in South Africa in a bid to win votes but said that would backfire. “Those people in South Africa went there long time ago and are not even registered voters. Even if he gives them land they would not be able to vote. He is failing to
realize that his time is up’.

Anna Masira says, Zimbabweans in South Africa where forced out of the country by Mugabe’s chaotic economic polices and he was to further subject them into more misery.

“He wants to turn everyone into farmers, that’s wrong we can’t all be in the fields. Mugabe kicked out those people from their homeland and he must admit that” She adds ‘Even if they get the Mugabe Promised Land, do they have the skills for farming? That’s a populist statement and they should not fall for it”

Meanwhile, Mugabe pleaded with the nation to raise a resounding vote that would dispel all doubts about the party’s strength. He blamed the internecine divisions and power struggles within his Zanu-PF for poor performance on March 29, a situation he said should not be entertained in the run-off.

“Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Let that message come through on June 27. Let it come through your vote. You should raise a vote that will not be doubted by anyone, raise this vote in your provinces and let us ensure a massive victory.

“Then we can sing our song, our song that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. The message we should send out abroad is please leave us alone. Zimbabwe — call it your fatherland or your motherland — Zimbabwe is the only country you have. It’s the only country I have. I have no other.

“I get my fruit from Zimbabwe, I get my riches from Zimbabwe. So let me be king of my own forests, my own animals, my own rivers, my own mountains. Please leave me to be king of my own country. This is what everyone should be saying. And the women should be declaring let me be queen of my own country.

“Zimbabwe cannot be British, it cannot be American. Yes, it is African, but
first and foremost it is Zimbabwean and for Zimbabweans.”

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