Land rentals to pay white farmers $10bln

via Land rentals to pay white farmers $10bln – NewZimbabwe 9 April 2015

AN announcement from government that it will soon start collecting land rentals from new black farmers to help compensate white farmers whose land was taken from them could be “very good”, the director of the Commercial Farmers’ Union (CFU) said on Saturday.

Hendrik Olivier told News24: “If there is a concrete realisation from the government that they want to sit around the table with white farmers [and discuss compensation], this would be very good and would boost the confidence of the farmers.”

The decision to extract rentals from the new farmers, almost certainly an effort to restore confidence in Zimbabwe internationally and encourage desperately-needed foreign investment, was announced by Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora on Thursday.

The minister said the move was approved by Mugabe’s cabinet last week.

Olivier said that there were “lots of figures floating around” as to the total amount of compensation owed to white farmers who have lost their land under Mugabe’s controversial land reforms, which were launched in 2000.

He agreed that it was “most probably” around $10bn, a figure that has been previously cited.

The CFU director said some dispossessed white farmers needed “very much” to be paid back.

White farmers destitute

“There are some destitute white farmers in their late 70s and early 80s who have lost everything,” Olivier said in a phone interview.

The CFU provides regular food parcels to some farmers “just so they can put food on the table”, he added.

According to the state media, the new land rentals – if successfully collected – will not only be used to compensate farmers but also to help government fund “land audits” to check how and if new farms are being used and by whom.

Around 4,000 white farmers have had their farms taken over since self-styled war veterans began invading white-owned land 15 years ago with the encouragement of the ruling Zanu PF.

Some high-profile black farmers took entire commercial farms, but many less well-connected new farmers were allocated smaller plots. There are now as many as 245,000 new black farmers.

Commercial farmers and all those who now own wildlife conservancies will be expected to pay a total of $5 per hectare per year to the government. This figure includes the new rental fee and a previously-imposed land tax. Small scale farmers will pay $15 for their plots per year.

Cabinet approval

“Cabinet last week approved payment of a land rental by all the beneficiaries of the land reform programme,” Mombeshora was quoted as saying.

“Collection of the land rental will start this year definitely and we are currently busy working on the mechanisms of how the money will be collected,” he added.

A white former farmer who lost his farm in eastern Manicaland province in 2001 told News24 by phone: “I would say that it would take them a very long time to collect enough money to pay it all back.

“And the ability for some of the farmers to pay this money might be difficult.”

Mugabe’s government said at the start of the takeovers that white farmers would be compensated for improvements to the land they previously owned, like buildings and farmhouses. But the land itself was considered stolen and would not be paid for.

Farm seizures continue

Mombeshora said new black farmers who did not pay the tax “risked losing their farms.

Only around 300 white farmers are left on their farms in Zimbabwe. Evictions are ongoing.

The Mike Campbell Foundation said Friday that a white farming couple, Richard and Molleen Dennis, were forced to leave their Caledonia farm home near Harare on Tuesday by “a large group of people in expensive cars”.

“They were not even allowed to take their phones, passports, spare clothes or their much loved dogs, about whom they are extremely concerned,” said the foundation, which says it is fighting to protect the rule of law in Zimbabwe.


  • comment-avatar
    former farmer 7 years ago

    On face value this sounds like a move in the right direction, but if you do the sums you soon realise that not enough will be raised to even meet the interest payments to those affected.
    Those who are on the larger properties are there because of their political connections and will not pay, just as we see them drive through the toll gates.
    Then those who are there simply because they saw an opportunity will not be able to afford the rents, especially the smaller plot holders.
    So they don’t pay and get chucked off and the next lot default and get chucked off and so on we go. If any of these settlers were honest I am sure they would rather have a job than a plot.
    Then there the issue of the RDC’s who will no doubt take there share first.
    So all taken into consideration a very ill thought out initiative. We need a compromise solution that benefits the country, it’s citizens ( irrespective) and respects the rule of law and that is not going to happen anytime soon.

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    Jono Austin 7 years ago

    and the GDP of the country is? This is a non starter

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    Trebor Ebagum 7 years ago

    Typical public relations scam. Indigenous government, like indigenous farming doesn’t work. Let them drive expensive cars. They can drive right?

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    This is exactly what I suggested years and years ago. But somehow I am very sceptical that it will be implemented.

    I am sure it is just The Bhobho “Telling people what they want to hear” or “Watch his lips VERY carefully, if they are moving – he is lying!”

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    Batshele ! 7 years ago

    It’s never gonna happen in a million years! And if any money is collected be sure that the thieving Zanu parasites will steal the lot

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    blackboy 7 years ago

    Bring back our white farmers! Now a few black people have 10 -15 farms,live in mansions and get huge salaries from the civil service.And boast late in the night to whoever ,about how many they now have across all over Zimbabwe.

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    blackboy 7 years ago

    I really fill bad, when i think of all those young people who lost their lifes for a Great Zimbabwe. May mudzimi wavo find rest in peace one day.

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    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    People should not be hoodwinked by this. These new farmers are not even commercial so how much can they pay?

    They will be asked to pay a token amount a month and through rampant corruption the money will just end up in one of the mafia’s pockets.

    To raise anything near $10 billion will take many years, that is if the new farmers are paying commercial lease rates.

    This new strategy will just be used to buy time and to make Zanu PF say to funders and donors ‘look we are doing something to compensate the farmers.’

    This is just another trick by the regime which should be ignored, they are trying to be seen to be doing something and at the same its a channel for the big chefs to line their pockets a bit more.

    • comment-avatar
      Jono Austin 7 years ago

      This is exactly what they are doing-‘demonstrating’ to the international community that they’re good guys and doing their bit. Internationals must establish exactly how much the former farmers are getting by asking them, not Govt.

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    Common Sense 7 years ago

    While it confirms some of the West’s criticisms, it offers a unique alternative viewpoint and questions a number of long-held and seldom challenged beliefs, including the almost universal cliché that at Independence Zimbabwe had everything going for it and threw it all away through bad government. It offers a fresh assessment of Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe’s military involvement in the Congo, the Gukurahundi massacres in Matebeleland, sanctions, human rights, the rule of law.No one in 1980 could have guessed that Zimbabwe would become a failed state on such a monumental and tragic scale.Zimbabwe’s tragedy is not just about Mugabe’s ‘evil’ but about history, Africa today and the world’s attitudes towards them.Mugabe from the beginning was sacrificing his purported ideals—and Zimbabwe’s potential—to the goal of extending and cementing his autocratic leadership. Over time, Mugabe has become ever more dictatorial, and seemingly less and less interested in the welfare of his people, treating Zimbabwe’s wealth and resources as spoils of war for his inner circle. In recent years he has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption in his country. Like the Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Zimbabwe has been on a steady slide to disaster.

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    Petal 7 years ago

    The international Community should not be hoodwinked by these thieving scumbags

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    Rwendo 7 years ago

    Most of these farmers have not managed to pay back the money they owe for implements given them by the RBZ which have been passed onto taxpayers. This is most likely a method for helping Chinamasa with his payment shortfalls by diverting whatever little is raised. Like the tollgate money, some of it will eventually get to where it is meant to..

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    Mukanya 7 years ago

    Looting Land Rent Levy…. its overdue, but we can still do it.

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    When all is said and done more is said than done!!!! It’s a ploy to fool the absolutely gullible donors!!!! I wouldn’t hold my breath!!!!

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      Fallenz 7 years ago

      Much more “said than done”. Purely a concerted political ploy. Nothing more, nothing less. There’s absolutely no intent to compensate anyone for anything. For heaven’s sake, consider the source. While rents might be collected from the new farmers who are without government/political/elite connections, no proceeds will be allocated to any such “compensation fund”. For any who are foolish enough to put even a whit of trust in that announcement, I can connect you with a Nigerian widow who has millions she can access and share if you’ll just wire her some funds and allow access to your banque account. Good grief… have some common sense, people!

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    Hon. Chinotimba 7 years ago

    What compensation do you seek? who will compensate us for the illegal grabbing of land from our forefathers? The land you want to be compensated for was never bought by any of you, but inherited from illgotten means, using slavery murder raping subduing and forced labour etc. You did not care whether our mothers or fathers had food on thier table or let alone if they had a table at all. So spare us the no food mantra, no one forced you to be zimbabwean, if you dont like been zimbabwean then stay buggerd off to wherever u r writting from today, otherwise if you want to be zimbabwean then behave zimbbawean and dont ask for $10bln for just 4000 thieves who stole land in the first place. These overzealous arrogant white farmers think the world of themselves and cannot spare a thought to the millions that perished during thier colonial era and today ask for $10bln. For what? go hang. did those you misplaced and render destitute claim $10bln? so how will they be compensated? who should be compensated in the first place? icho

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    Dem Pisstoff 7 years ago

    I am now 60. My generation fought and died in that useless war for what?
    So that corrupt vicious and inept eople could steal everything from the people of Zimbabwe. At least the last 300 white farmers have tried to do their job and provide work for people and positively impact the economy. Unlike the leeches and cockroaches who currently rule like feudal aristocracy. “Scientific Socialism” means that we all know who the biggest pigs are – apologies to Orwell.

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    inferior-whitie 7 years ago

    The fact that some people still have faith in African leaders doing the right thing astounds me, the west should pay for this mistake and pay until realisation that intervention is needed. For the west to admit that it was wrong all those years ago 60’s, 70’s and 80’s would be embarasing, yes the ideals may have been correct and hournorable but their methods were wrong imo (distructive disengagement). The west must keep on funding and feeding Africa for ever as pennance for these mistakes. In the 17 and 1800 whilst Europe and was navigating the world, having medical breakthroughs and and other massive scientific discoveries what was Africa doing, inventing the short stabbing spear and pincer movement, both destructive things designed to kill and maim as many opposition as possible, that is not to say that europe was perfect they to invented destructive weapons etc, but at least there was a balance of good and evil.
    Who knows even the great Zimbabwe ruins, a great engineering masterpiece, may have been indigonised at some point, the Vakarang people, immigrants to Zimbabwe and southern africa who ruled the monomatapa area may have built the ruins.
    What good will $15 per year do, it will cost more to manage the income than could possible ever be realised, just a token gesture to appease the west.
    Slowly but surely Mugabe has taken away from the, dare I say, whites to redistribute to the indigionous people (well some of then in the right circles anyway) first the government, then the farms, then the commercial enterprises, well these are about to run out so what next, peoples homes I expect at which point the old c.. t will be dead, leaving a legacy to be proud of, he can joint the ranks of Pol Pot, Hitler etc, where they can discuss how mugabe fooled the west and stole a whole country worth of bounty over his 35 year domination.
    RIP Zimbabwe, until the next leader comes along to take what little is left oh and of course any western aid meant for the poor poor people.
    To the noble west, this is what we told you would happen in 1979, only worse, it is your mess, clean it up!!

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    ever hopefull 7 years ago

    Mugabe, hurry up and die.

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    U.N. Sucks 7 years ago

    When Mugabe’s campaign to drive white farmers (and ultimately Zimbabwe) out of business, I presumed those land owners had probably all been former “Rhodies” (and “Rocks”,)and were merely victims of political deceit and racial revenge. Some would say, “Too bad fellas”!

    A few years ago I became aware that many or most of those properties had been purchased (or ownership officially confirmed) under the rules established by the Zimbabwean government – post 1980 – obviously with the collaboration of U.N. and other pious states.

    Despite the apparent numerous agreements sponsored by UN and others safeguarding their ownership of land (and seemingly provision for financial security related to any land transfer), when Mugabe did his thing, the U.N. and others did nothing other than look with a blind eye and sit resolutely on their up turned thumbs.

    Now all Zimbabweans pay the predicted price!!

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    Jac Joubert 6 years ago

    Hay folks they (the munts) can winge and make excuses all day long about how they are correcting colonial wrongs by stealing farms and businesses. So how do they explain the acquisition of ranches and farms they have which were bought after 1980 on bilateral agreements. These individuals and firms were bonafide investors, not pioneers, but Mr African sir just took with impunity. With regard to killing people the colonials are fairys compared to the scale our Bobby has done it. Ghukurahundi is a starting point.