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Zimbabwe: White farmers to be compensated

LAND REFORM: White farmers who lost land during Robert Mugabe's presidency will receive compensation under president Emmerson Mnangagwa

WHITE FARMERS in Zimbabwe who had their land taken away from them during Robert Mugabe’s presidency will receive compensation, it has been announced.

Thousands were affected by the land confiscation policy which took place two decades ago.

Around 4,500 white farmers were evicted, sometimes violently, from the land they owned, which was then redistribute to approximately 300,000 black families.

Mugabe said the policy was aimed at correcting the imbalance between the economic prosperity of black and white people in the country following colonialism.

Now, under president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who succeeded Mugabe after his lengthy tenure, Zimbabwe’s finance and agriculture department have confirmed they have put in place plans to financially compensate the white farmers affected by the land reform policy.

Those in desperate financial need will be supported by the first set of payments, which will start after April. Following this, further payments will be distributed to those affected.

“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,”
Reuters reported Zimbabwe’s ministries of finance and agriculture said in a joint statement on Monday.

The programme is part of the government’s attempt to bring the controversial issue to a close and improve relationships with the West.

$17.5 million has been designated to paying compensation in this year’s Zimbabwe budget, Reuters reported.

It is understood that the payments will only be handed out in relation to infrastructure and improvements on farmland and not for the land itself.

Just as the land reform policy split the nation, so too is the news of Mnangagwa’s reimbursement plans.

“The government’s decision to compensate white farmers show they are [weaklings], they do not have ideas and strategy on how to pull Zimbabwe out of its problems,” one commenter tweeted.

“Like it or not, we need the white farmers...they know what they are doing. Remember the glory days of Zimbabwe, guys,” another tweeted.

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