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Land Once Stolen by Colonialists In African Nations Is Allegedly Being Stolen by Africans

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Yes, there is land in Africa, but the question is: Who owns it? Well, apparently the wealthy in Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Kenya feel entitled to it and have resorted to land-grabbing. This aggressive act is fast rendering millions of African families homeless and landless. The political elite and affluent members of the continent are in an overdrive to grab as much land as possible.

Africans faced a huge challenge during the colonial period with white settlers taking the best parts of the continent, but with Europeans out of the picture, a new affluent and powerful minority is out to grab Africa, with some doing so in hopes of encountering profitable natural resources.

“Our forefathers cried foul during colonialism when their land was grabbed by colonialists more than a century ago, but today history repeats itself, with our own political leaders and wealthy countrymen looting land,” Claris Madhuku, director of the Platform for Youth Development (PYD), a democracy lobby group in Zimbabwe, said.

On the other hand, Owen Dliwayo, a civil society activist, who works as the program officer for the Youth Dialogue Network, a lobby group in Zimbabwe, mentioned that multinational companies are the main cause of land seizures in African countries.

“I can give you an example of the Chisumbanje ethanol fuel project here in Chipinge. The project resulted in thousands of villagers being displaced to pave way for a sugar plantation so that thousands of hectares of land space could be created for the ethanol-producing project, consequently displacing poor villagers,” Dliwayo told IPS.

When these multinational companies take up land to set up their structures, they end up displacing families. In 2008, a sugarcane plantation was set up in Zimbabwe, taking 40,000 hectares of land, leaving more than 1,754 families homeless.Even when government agencies attempt to work out ways to address land issues, the end result is always disastrous. For example, when Zimbabwe started addressing colonial land ownership 15 years ago, many hoped that the recovered land would benefit the general population, but at the end of it all, the recovered land was allotted to the who’s who of Zimbabwe.

“To say African nations like Zimbabwe addressed the land problem is untrue because land which African governments like Zimbabwe grabbed from White farmers was parceled out to political elites at the expense of hordes of peasants here,” Terry Mutsvanga, an award-winning Zimbabwean rights activist, told IPS.

The results of such activities are widespread inequalities that see only a selected few benefit while the rest of the population is left landless.

In Kenya, politicians and powerful individuals have wildly grabbed land in the country’s capital city, Nairobi, and its environs. It’s so bad that some of the grabbers have resorted to grabbing public land, including land belonging to police stations, schools, and other public utilities.

Uganda’s Joshua Zake—Senior Programme Officer and Environment and Natural Resources and Coordinator of the Uganda Forestry Working Group at Environmental Alert—says that the problem is the same in Uganda, with many smallholder farmers facing a great risk from the elite.

While some grab land to erect structures, others do so with the hope that natural deposits of oil and other minerals could be found in their large tracts of land.


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Comment by El-Bull on November 27, 2015 at 11:55pm

 it's called classism duh---they are not taking it to share or divide amongst the people they are taking it to devekop the resources  it contains to make themselves even richer DUH

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