Zimbabwe is home: Goosen says his love for the country made him stay after losing his farm

Former commercial farmer, Alex Goosen says he was bitter for many years after losing his Goodwood farm during the land reform programme but his love for the country made him stay when others fled.

The 115 000-acre farm boasted over 6000 cattle before it was invaded.

Goosen who was a guest on the Breakfast Club, a CITE current affairs programme, said he has since moved on and ventured into other business interests.

“It’s not easy, I will be honest with you, you become bitter for many years, you sit and think to yourself what did I do,” he said.

“I have recovered, moved on, I always stayed in the beef game and started the butchering process, I wanted to do that even when I was farming. I wanted to take my cattle from cradle to grave, from calves, take them right through and then process them. I have been lucky, I have done it well.”

He said he decided to remain in the country because of the warm relations the enjoyed with the locals.

“When you are a Zimbabwean, I go anywhere, when I land at Bulawayo airport and I greet people there, the difference between us is the skin they are black, I am white but we are exactly the same and they are all friendly. Tomorrow, I fly out, 90 percent of the people there know me not because I am big fish but because we are friendly, this is home for us.”

“I go somewhere else, you are not even allowed to talk, I stayed with my daughter in the UK and when I wanted to talk to the neighbour, she said dad you don’t talk to people here, you don’t talk to people in the queue, it’s not done, so that’s very boring,” said Goosen.

He added, “Thus how Zimbabweans are, we are friendly people, and thus our biggest downfall, we are not a violent nation, we are not, otherwise we would have overthrown the government, we would be killing each other today like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and all those.”

The Government has promised to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to commercial farmers whose land was expropriated by the state.

Government signed the agreement with representatives of former commercial farmers in 2020 with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the time, saying the deal was a significant step towards bringing closure to the land reform programme.

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