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Mnangagwa signs deal to pay white farmers US$3.5 billion

by Mandla Ndlovu
29 Jul 2020 at 14:40hrs | Views
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has signed a historic agreement with the Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe and the Southern African Commercial Farmers Alliance which mandates Zimabbwe to pay white commercial farmers US$3.5 billion.

The money will be raised from taxpayers.

In a statement, Mnangagwa said, "Today we signed a historic compensation agreement with the Commercial Farmers Union, bringing closure and a new beginning to land discourse in Zimbabwe. The agreement re-affirms the irreversibility of land and is as a symbol of our commitment to the rule of law and property rights.

"It is a testimony to the fact that as fellow Zimbabweans, we can peacefully resolve our differences. We cannot change the past, we can only learn from it. Let us build on the trust demonstrated today, let us choose dialogue over confrontation and let us move forward together."

The white farmers had their land disposed at the turn of the millennium after war veterans embarked on a chaotic land reform program.

A committee has been formed by the government, farmers and donors to raise funding for the compensation, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga said at the ceremony.

Zimbabwe has endured intermittent food shortages since the government began the often-violent program that seized most White-owned, large-scale farms from 2000. The country's rulers maintain that the land was taken forcibly during colonial times and needed to be returned to Black residents.

The compensation agreement is for improvements and assets on the more than 4,000 farms that were seized and doesn't pertain to the land itself, Ben Gilpin, a director of the CFU, said earlier this month.

Source - Byo24News/Bloomberg