JOHANNESBURG — Zanu PF says its land reform programme has been a major success and is not bothered by criticism from ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.
While addressing a rally in the Free State on Sunday, Mantashe said Zimbabwe’s land reform programme had caused the country’s economic hardships.
Mantashe went on to say the Zimbabwe-style land reform programme was a no-go area for South Africa.
“Look at Zimbabwe. It used to be the breadbasket of Africa. Today it imports almost everything. The Zimbabwean dollar has disappeared. This economy will disappear if that is the example we want to follow,” Mantashe said.
But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo maintains the land reform programme was both successful and justifiable.
“We have our own model and it doesn’t matter really what anyone else thinks. Our model is for Zimbabwe and Zimbabweans alone,” Gumbo said.
“If the ANC has its own model, or does not want to have a land reform programme, then good. Our position is that we could not fold our hands and leave land in the hands of the minority while the majority were wallowing in poverty.
“As far as we are concerned our land reform programme has been very successful and has led to the empowerment of our people.”
Mantashe’s statements may represent a shift in policy for the ANC, which has historically protected Zanu PF.
Former president Thabo Mbeki typified the ANC’s protection of Zanu PF when, in 2008, at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown, he said there was no crisis in Zimbabwe.
Even the ANCs opposition, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), has spoken out against Zimbabwe-style land reform.
The EFF’s commissar responsible for policy and research, Floyd Shivambu, last month told the Mail&Guardian that, although his party holds Zimbabwe in high regard for “its courage in going ahead with land reform against international and imperialist pressure and intimidation”, the EFF would not use a similar strategy.