The Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri have on behalf of the government of Zimbabwe signed an agreement with white farmers union to pay the sum of $3.5 billion compensation to white farmers whose lands were seized by Robert Mugabe’s regime to resettle black families in the southern African nation.
It could be recalled that the land reform policy of Robert Mugabe in 2000 led to the forceful seizure of lands from the five percent minority white farmers who then control three-quarters of the farmland in Zimbabwe.
The land reform policy was meant to effect a radical change in the nation’s agrarian structure and to resettle the black community who were unjustly barred from settling in and using their lands during the colonial period.
At the time of seizing the land from the White farmers, the former government in Zimbabwe evicted close to 4,500 white farmers and redistributed the land to more than 300,000 Zimbabweans.
Following the implementation of the policy in 2000, the then Mugabe government received several economic sanctions from the West, leading to a serious economic crisis.
The agreement entered into today will only facilitate the compensation of white farmers for the infrastructure on the seized farms lands and not the land itself. According to reports “Farmers would receive 50% of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years”.
“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” The head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing white farmers, Andrew Pascoe, said.
This decision by the government has been greeted with divided opinions by Zimbabweans. This medium will continue to monitor the developments and make further reports in the story.