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Over the last few months, there have been multiple reports on Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s plans to rebuild the agricultural industry of his country. While the reports indicated that the new President will look to encourage white Zimbabwean farmers to return home, things looked to be moving ahead slowly.
Now, a report from Daily News indicates that the government has set up a committee to spearhead the compensation process for white farmers who had their land seized during the controversial and violent land reform program.
According to the report, President Mnangagwa appointed Ringson Chitsiko, the permanent secretary of the land and agriculture ministry, to chair this new committee until October 2019.
“It is hereby notified in terms of Section 29A (1) of the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 20:10) that the minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement, has appointed (Mr) Ringson John Chitsiko as the chairperson of the Compensation Committee for the period of 20 months, commencing on January 10 2018 to October 1 2019.” – an extract seen from the Zimbabwean Government’s Gazette.
With original reports of “17 million acres of land” being taken from white farmers together with equipment, livestock and personal positions, some white farmers have called for compensation of $9 billion. With government being broke, though, it isn’t clear where the money is going to come from to get farmers going again, even though the desire seems to be there from Mnangagwa.
“We must compensate our farmers in line with our laws.” – Mnangagwa during his inauguration speech.
Another recent development for farmers came as Local Government minister July Moyo directed officials to immediately issue white commercial farmers with 99-year leases. As per the previous arrangement for these farmers, they only received five-year leases.
Will the current Zimbabwean leadership be able to get the country going again by enticing farmers to come back to their country and set up shop again?