By Sally Nyakanyanga
The dispute rages on about the after-effects of the Mugabe government-sanctioned practice 19 years ago of expropriating commercial farmland without compensation. Meanwhile, compensation on improvements made on the land before expropriation is being considered and plans to award interim advance payments have been agreed upon by government and the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and Compensation Steering Committee representing former farm owners.
The Zimbabwean government has agreed to pay an Interim Relief of RTGS $55,000 for each farmer who lost land during the rapid reform Programme at the turn of the millennium.
According to Ben Gilpin, the director of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU), the government has promised to pay by the end of May to mitigate circumstances of former commercial white farmers left in dire straits. This is an interim plan while a proper, comprehensive compensation package is worked out.
“The money was initially denominated in the 2019 national budget at US$53-million but since the floating of the dollar we will get paid in RTGS dollars, which diminishes the amount in real terms,” says Gilpin.
In a statement on the implementation of compensation of former farm owners issued in April 2019, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate Change and…