Zimbabwe’s Finance and Agriculture Department have confirmed that they have begun the process to compensate the white farmers who were dispossessed of their properties, following the brutal implementation of land reform policies 19 years ago.
Zimbabwe land developments – latest news:
Reuters report that 4 500 white farmers were forced to redistribute the land to around 300 000 black families. As Zimbabwe secured independence in 1980, families of a colonial heritage still held claim to most of the land in the country. However, the cruel manner in which the expropriation was handled sent shockwaves around the world.
The farmers were booted out of their homes, often chased away by angry mobs who were encouraged to grab land by Robert Mugabe. Deaths, violence and the destruction of crops came to characterise the new legislation, which is widely attributed to Zimbabwe’s economic strife.
Why is Zimbabwe ready to compensate white farmers?
It’s thought that current President Emmerson Mnangagwa is ready to right the wrongs of the past in order to court Western nations. Zimbabwe is still under sanctions imposed by the likes of the US and the UK, but experts believe that the Zim government are doing whatever they can to get these global super-powers back onside.
The Finance and Agriculture Department released a statement on Monday morning, confirming that they would go ahead with the plans. They explained that they are in the “final stages” of working out who will get compensation, and hope the first payments can be made as early as next month:
“The government is committed to finalising compensation to all former farm owners who were affected by the Land Reform Programme.”
“The registration process and the 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 by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement. ”
Zimbabwe’s Finance and Agriculture Department
A victory for white farmers
Mnangagwa has budgeted $17.5 million to lead this corrective process. The government are now currently working towards the computation and establishing the “Compensation Quantum Figure” for farm improvements based on an agreed method of valuation.
It’s been a long journey to get there – and even Jacob Zuma has been threatened with legal action over the historical injustice – but it now looks like the families who had their livelihoods destroyed will be given the compensation they have fought for, over the best part of the last two decades.