The Zimbabwe government is overseeing the return of a white farmer to land that was seized from him at gunpoint, in what it hailed as a sign of the new president’s “inclusiveness”.
Rob Smart, 71, whooped with joy this week when he was told that he can return to his farm in eastern Zimbabwe – the only home he has ever known.
He and his family, including his young grandchildren and many of their workers, were evicted at gunpoint from their farm in the east of the country nearly six months ago by several gangs loyal to former first lady Grace Mugabe.
Former president Robert Mugabe, 93. was forced to resign last month after 37 years in power after a coup d’etat, in which he was succeeded by his former ally Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Mr Mugabe supported land invasions from 2000 which saw about 4,000 white farmers evicted, sometimes violently. Mr Smart told Reuters that Mr Mnangagwa, personally oversaw his return after he heard about the case.
“Apparently Mnangagwa saw that and flipped his lid,” Mr Smart said. One of those who engineered the invasion was Bishop Trevor Manhanga, who leads a church known as the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe.