Zimbabwe sets aside $17,5m to compensate displaced white farmers

Source: Zimbabwe sets aside $17,5m to compensate displaced white farmers | eNCA

File: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

File: Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

HARARE – Zimbabwe is to start paying compensation this year to thousands of white farmers who lost land under former president Robert Mugabe’s land reform nearly two decades ago, the government said, as it seeks to bring closure to a highly divisive issue.

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 black families, arguing it was redressing imbalances from the colonial era.

But land reform still divides public opinion as opponents see it as a partisan process that left the country struggling to feed itself.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government sees the paying of compensation to white farmers as key to mend ties with the West, and set aside $17,5-million in this year’s budget to that end. The initial payments will target those in financial distress, while full compensation will be paid later.

“The registration process and list of farmers should be completed by the end of April 2019, after which the interim advance payments will be paid directly to former farm owners,” Zimbabwe’s ministries of finance and agriculture said in a joint statement on Monday.

They said the process to identify and register farmers for compensation was being undertaken the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and a committee representing the farmers.

A committee comprising government officials and former farm owners is currently valuing improvements made on the farms. That process should end next month and will determine the full amount due to the farmers.

The government, which maintains it will only pay compensation for infrastructure and improvements on farms and not for the land, is talking to international financial institutions on options to raise the full amount to pay farmers.

Colonialists seized some of the best agricultural land and much of it remained in the hands of white farmers after independence in 1980, while many blacks were landless.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar

    $1750000 divided by $4500 is less than $4000 per farm. (and in what form will this be paid?)

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 3 years ago

    Figures have been reduced by a third already? $2000 maBondi a month to a small percentage of farmers who are struggling to survive. Well done, the team, for at least getting some help to those in dire need.

  • comment-avatar
    KK Brown 3 years ago

    This is – of course – a Zanu joke.

    Zanu RTGS $s are worth less than a wet fart in a force eight gale, but that is actually immaterial, because Zanu can’t pay anyway, even in their make-believe Mickey Mouse currency.

    Zimbabwe WILL become a viable country again, but only AFTER Zanu has been left hanging on trees and lamp posts.

  • comment-avatar
    harper 3 years ago

    Civil Service pensioners have been fed the same story ad nauseum. I am still waiting for the next payment, the last cheque was for February 2003 but was stale by the time it arrived. A Zimbabwean MP raised this question with the relevant Minister a few years ago, her response was “All pensions are paid on time and in full”. However if the farmers do receive something I am glad for them.