Mnangagwa says land reform irreversible

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HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa reassured supporters on Friday at a party congress that those who repossessed land from white farmers in a programme spearheaded by deposed leader Robert Mugabe would keep the land.

Land is an emotive issue in the southern African nation after the violent invasion of white-owned farms in 2000 by supporters of former president Mugabe, who defended the seizures as a necessary redress of colonial-era imbalances.

The seizures sent the agricultural sector — the mainstay of Zimbabwe’s economy, once one of Africa’s most promising — into a tail-spin, triggering a broader slump that saw GDP almost halve between 2000 and 2008.