Zimbabwean Government starts to compensate displaced white farmers

April 8, 2019
| Report Focus News

The Zimbabwean Government has decided to pay compensation to white farmers who lost land under the land redistribution and farm grabs that were carried out during the Robert Mugabe era.

This comes nearly two decades after what some observers described as violet and chaotic land grabs. The Zimbabwean government says, it seeks to bring closure to a highly divisive issue.

| Report Focus News
Under Mugabes government about 4500 white farmers in Zimbabwe had their lands confiscated after being violently evicted from them<br><br>

Two decades ago Mugabe’s government allowed war veterans and ZANU PF party cadres to carry out violent evictions of nearly 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.

| Report Focus News
Robert Mugabe former president of Zimbabwe redistributed the lands to black families<br><br>

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.