by WorldTribune Staff, July 29, 2020
White farmers in Zimbabwe who were evicted during the reign of brutal dictator Robert Mugabe will receive compensation from the state, a report said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday approved an agreement to pay $3.5 billion in compensation to white farmers whose land was expropriated by the Mugabe government to resettle black families, Reuters reported.
Mugabe’s government carried out at times violent evictions of 4,500 white farmers and redistributed the land to around 300,000 black families.
Mugabe’s eviction of the farmers heavily damaged Zimbabwe’s relations with the West. Mugabe was ousted in a coup in 2017 after a 37-year reign. He died last year at age 95.
Mnangagwa said the land reform could not be reversed but paying of compensation was key to mending ties with the West.
Zimbabwe’s government said it does not have the money to pay the farmers and will issue long term bonds and jointly approach international donors with the farmers to raise funding, according to the compensation agreement signed by Mnangagwa.
Farmers would receive 50 percent of the compensation after a year and the balance within five years.
Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube and acting Agriculture Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri signed on behalf of the government, while farmers unions and a foreign consortium that undertook valuations also penned the agreement.
“As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue,” said Andrew Pascoe, head of the Commercial Farmers Union representing white farmers.