Zim White farmers ordered to hand over land By XINHUA | Tuesday, October 2   2012 at  12:31

Maize farm
A maize plantation: Zimbabwe's Government has given an ultimatum to white farmers whose parcels of land were gazetted for takeover to wind up their operations.   FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Zimbabwean authorities have given an ultimatum to White farmers whose parcels of land were gazetted for takeover to wind up their operations, state radio reported.

Mashonaland Central Provincial Lands Committee boss Martin Dinha was quoted as saying that this would pave the way for new owners who were given offer letters by the government.

New farmers who had been finding it difficult to occupy land allocated to them under the agrarian reform have finally been granted permission to move into their farms, ZBCNews reported.

Mr Dinha added that a team comprising security personnel and other government officials would be deployed to ensure White farmers wound up their operations.

He also condemned some politicians who were allegedly protecting White farmers at the expense of the indigenous people.

In Zimbabwe, occupying gazetted land without an offer letter is a crime, which can attract a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

Zimbabwe launched the land reform programme in 2000, and since then, more than 4,000 farms owned by Whites have been redistributed to local people.