Zim should swallow pride, compensate land grab victims

When the government embarked on an unstructured, haphazard and violent land reform programme, it was conveniently explained as fixing past wrongs and giving land to the people.

Source: Zim should swallow pride, compensate land grab victims – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 11, 2017

Comment: NewsDay Editor

Seventeen years down the line, Zimbabwe is feeling the effects of its rogue decisions and failure to look into the future, as countries like Switzerland are not willing to invest in the country because they feel their investments will not be protected.

Switzerland had three farmers in Zimbabwe and they lost their land despite bilateral laws protecting them and for that Zimbabwe is paying by not having significant trade with the European country.

A question to ask the government: Would the land reform programme have suffered a mortal blow if just those three farms were not expropriated?

The government may feel justified in grabbing land, but it also had a moral duty and obligation to protect land that was covered under bilateral trade treaties.

We can only wonder how much trade Zimbabwe has missed out on by failing to protect land that it had committed itself to protect.

There are several Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (Bippas) that Zimbabwe violated in the name of righting colonial wrongs, yet the objective was to embark on a populist agenda to maintain power at all costs.

Switzerland has revealed what many Western countries and lately the Chinese are thinking – that no one will invest money in Zimbabwe because there is a feeling that investment will not be protected.

Chinese officials are unhappy with the government for the manner in which Chinese diamond mines were stopped from mining in Chiadzwa, while Western countries have long expressed their feelings over the indigenisation policy and the land reform programme.

What Zimbabwe has managed to do is ostracise itself and no one will ever be willing to invest in this country until they feel their investments will be protected.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa may travel the length and breadth of the globe, but as previously, he will return to Zimbabwe empty-handed, because, as long as there is no commitment to uphold property rights, then he can as well as be howling in the wind.

Zimbabwe now has to swallow its pride and compensate farmers who lost their land which was protected under Bippas.
It is a bitter pill to swallow, but that is the only way the country’s ills can be healed.

It is time to dispense with populism and embrace policies that can build the country.


  • comment-avatar
    Tiger Shona 5 years ago

    The truth is that everyone whose land was just taken by these thugs must either get their farms back or get compensated.
    I doubt if Mugabe has the guts and the courage to do that. And that after he had admitted that the do called “Land Reform” had turned out to be a dissaster.
    These guys simply are not known for doing things that is good for the country economically.
    So there you have it guys; carry on with it and reap the reward for your actions!
    “Pride” before the fall? It certainly looks like it.
    You may be able to intimidate unarmed Zimbabweans, but the rest of the world will laugh at your foolishness.

  • comment-avatar
    Doris 5 years ago

    Land reform had NOTHING to do with the past. But it had EVERYTHING to do with the future. I.e. It started hotting up when the MDC became a force and scared the living daylights out of ZanuPF when they discovered how unpopular they were. Controlled the labor force on the farms by getting rid of the whites. There are plenty whites back on farms with the blessing of ZPF. Try the Chegutu/Chinhoyi area. The Standard has had a couple of articles about it. Now you want to compensate only foreigners?

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    Former Farmer 5 years ago

    We were all classed as foreigners by these thugs as their justification.
    It was the Banket farmers Association giving Tsvangirai a $10 000 cheque, which ZBC made headline news, that triggered Mugabes rage and reason to re-educate “the anti ZPF Malawian ” farm workers. In a democratic country that would have been fine but we have not had democracy since 1980. Such a shame they cannot see their wrongs and put the citizens first and give the farms back.

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    Johann 5 years ago

    Tsvangirai was a zanupf plant working to expose divergent voters.
    How does the thieving bankrupt, corrupt Zimbabwe government compensate anyone let alone a white man without a fat loan from the country where that hated white man comes from!!?
    Ever heard of Humpty Dumpty? Well the egg is broken and all the kings horses and men couldn’t possibly fix the situation.

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    Nyoni 5 years ago

    Not only whites lost their farms to these crooks. All suffered and continue to do so. This injustice will be righted soon.