Agriculture

Govt to return land to former owners

Zimbabwe is to offer land back to former farmers as it looks to boost production across the country.

The Government announced it will offer land back to two categories of farmers who were dispossessed under the land reform – black indigenous farmers and white farmers protected by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, signed between Zimbabwe and their countries.

However, the Government has moved to deny claims it was reversing land reforms by offering land back to white farmers evicted from the land, stating only 37 farmers will be eligible for this.

More than 4,000 white farmers were evicted from the land in 2000 under Robert Mugabe’s tenure.

The country is looking to increase production and productivity.

It means foreign white farmers who invested in the land post-independence under agreements with their governments and were dispossessed during the land reform can apply to be reinstated.

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi, said those in this category were not supposed to have had their land taken.

He added a black farmer who was receiving land back was ‘getting what was rightly his’, but white farmers had owned ‘stolen property’, with the exception of those offered the opportunity to claim land back in this move.

“Our farmers should not be afraid,” he added.

“The president has said it time and again that the land reform is over.

“What we are simply doing is to clean it up so as to ensure that everyone is secure.

“Those who are supposed to have their land, we discuss with them. We either give them back the land or we give them alternative land or compensation.”

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