At least 3,000 people who have benefited from Zimbabwe’s land reform process may be forced to leave their land at a farm in Chegutu to make way for a platinum mining project by a private company called Global Platinum Resources.
The Zimbabwe Land and Agrarian Network (ZiLAN) has identified this potential eviction as a violation of the land beneficiaries’ rights and has called on the Zimbabwean authorities to first agree on appropriate compensation measures with the land owners before carrying out any forced relocations.
Many of the farmers affected by this situation received their land legally under the Fast Track Land Reform Programme in 2000 and have been farming on the land since then. ZiLAN has expressed concern that the proposed development infringes on the fundamental rights of the people involved, as outlined in the Zimbabwe Constitution, and has called for due diligence, transparency, and accountability in land matters that could impact livelihoods.
The group has also called for the implementation of a National Gender-Sensitive Land Policy, respect for cultural and spiritual practices, and mechanisms to enable communities to participate in and benefit from private investments that could negatively affect them.
The potential eviction of these land beneficiaries is seen as a contradiction to the government’s efforts to empower locals with access to land that was previously controlled by white commercial farmers.