A report released this week by members of the British Parliament, the Africa All Party Parliamentary Group, concludes that the British government never made any secret deals before Zimbabwean independence with the liberation movement to tackle land reform.
Parliamentary group coordinator Alex O’Donoghue told VOA that contrary to claims by the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe that Britain failed to honor a promise to fund land reform, the British government voluntarily funded land redistribution programs on the basis of willing buyers and willing sellers.
Britain spent 47 million pounds between 1980 and 1989 funding a program in which the Zimbabwe government was given first priority to purchase all farms being sold by mostly white commercial farmers.
O’Donoghue told VOA Studio 7 reporter Gibbs Dube that the British government should re-engage Zimbabwe in tackling the land reform program.
Zimbabwean land expert Pilani Zamchiya who’s with the Oxford University’s International Development Department says though there is no signed agreement between Zimbabwe and England, the British have a historical and moral duty to help fund true agrarian reforms following a land audit of the Zanu-PF-sponsored and often chaotic land reform.