Zim says “No” to compensating ex-white farmers with land

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By Alois Vinga

ZIMBABWE has shot down plans to compensate ex-white commercial farmers with arable land despite clearly admitting that the country is short of resources to offset costs incurred to improve the land.

To date, the government has made strides after signing a US$3, 5 billion agreement back in 2020 which set the modalities to compensate white farmers displaced during a turbulent land redistribution program two decades ago.

Hopes are that the deal will attract foreign investment to improve the battered economy under a blended arrangement of using long-term bonds and donor assistance to raise the money for the compensation.

Quizzed by   at Zimbabwe’s Second Structured Dialogue Platform Meeting Thursday on whether government is considering taking advantage of the already existing land resource which is not being put to good use by local farmers and hand it over as compensation, Agriculture minister, Anxious Masuka said authorities are not making such considerations.

“We do not want to revisit the history of land in Zimbabwe. The emotions, the bloodshed and all. The fact that we went to war to take this land back. The long and short of it is that there is no plan to use the same land for compensation of white farmers.

“There is no discussion or reasoning along those lines in government. We are instead looking at alternative ways to mobilise resources and we are making so much progress in that direction,” he said.

In addition, Finance Minister, Mthuli Ncube also said the country’s debt has always existed, underscoring that the only way to deal with it is to confront it as espoused by the resolution dialogue processes.

“Bringing the farmer compensation issue to the fore is one of the steps in that direction. Other debts owed to institutions like the Paris Club have always existed and this engagement process is critical to move forward but not alone.

“We have to move forward with partners in participating in this dialogue. That’s the only way forward to move in this together because Zimbabwe cannot carry this burden,” he said.