Zim signs US$3,5bn land deal  

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Sindiso Mhlophe

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday said his government is committed to compensating and working with white commercial farmers whose land was taken during the land reform programme, but will not reverse the controversial exercise.
Mnangagwa said this during the signing ceremony of a compensation agreement between previous farm owners and the government at State House, which will see over 4 000 farmers receiving compensation worth US$3,5 billion in total.
“The process which has brought us to this event is equally as historic as it is a re-affirmation of the irreversibility of land as well as a symbol of our commitment to constitutionalism, the respect of the rule of law and property rights.
“The spirit that has brought us to this point must continue as we move forward on the road ahead, with regards both to the implementation modalities of the agreement and our resolve to collectively participate in growing our economy to achieve Vision 2030,” Mnangagwa said.
He added that with this agreement the government was committed to paying compensation for developments made to the land and not the acquisition of the land itself as directed by Section 72 of the Constitution.
“The signing of these agreements is merely a building block to what lies ahead. More work must be done,” he added.
Mnangagwa further revealed that a compensation implementation team led by Finance minister Mthuli Ncube had been formed to raise funds for the process.
Speaking at the same event, Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the chairperson of inter-ministerial compensation committee, revealed that the agreement had been reached after many challenges had been overcome.
“The inter-ministerial compensation committee was given a deadline to complete negotiations by September 2018. However, this deadline could not be met as there were a number of issues that needed to be properly interrogated before an agreement could be reached.”
Commercial Farmers Union president Andrew Pascoe described the signing of the compensation deal as a “miracle” given the hostility that existed between the two parties.


“For me today marks a huge milestone in that we are coming together as Zimbabweans and we have decided to put our differences aside and work together to resolve this long outstanding issue,” Pascoe said.

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