Accessibility links

Mugabe Appoints Team to Review Land Reform Program

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has appointed an eight-member committee to review the country's controversial land-reform program, launched in 2000.

Establishing the Land Review Committee, President Mugabe said it will assess progress made during the country's 'fast track' land reform program. The president said the committee of prominent Zimbabweans will provide a comprehensive review of the program, and will propose any changes it believes are necessary.

The president said the committee will outline the challenges and constraints facing the program, administrative and substantive problems.

Only one of the committee members is known as a government opponent.

Under Zimbabwe's land reform program, white commercial farmers lost their land to landless blacks. Experts have blamed the sometimes-violent implementation of the program for making the country's food situation worse, after two years of drought.

Many of the blacks who were given farms were government supporters with no agricultural experience and no money to operate the farms. Before this year's harvest, close to eight million of the country's 11 million people needed food aid.

President Mugabe announced his intention to set up the committee at his party's annual conference last December. At the time, the president admitted that some aspects of the land reform program have not gone well. But he remains committed to continuing the program.

The committee is expected to present its findings to the president in two months.