Crisis hit Zim govt pays $43m to white farmers - report
12 September 2016, 23:00
Bulawayo – The Zimbabwean government has spent nearly $43 million compensating white commercial farmers whose farms were acquired during the country's land reform programme, a report said on Monday.
According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said that the country had "made strides towards compensating" the white farmers, despite its financial troubles.
Chinamasa further claimed that land rentals and levies paid by beneficiaries of the land reform programme were some of the resources that would be used to compensate the white farmers affected by the land reform programme.
"To date, $42.7 million has been paid out for 43 farms, notwithstanding fiscal constraints being faced by Government.
"Government is expediting mapping and valuation of improvements on farms acquired under the land reform programme so that it can compensate the farmers," Chinamasa was quoted saying.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.
Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.
The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation struggle.
Critics of the reforms have blamed the programme for low production on the farms as the majority of the beneficiaries lacked the means and skills to work the land.