WASHINGTON D.C. —
The Zimbabwe Farmers Union (ZFU) has welcomed moves by the government to compensate evicted white commercial farmers.
Paul Zakariya, ZFU director, said compensating the evicted white farmers will be the proper way of taking over the farms, but was quick to point out that the compensation will be expected to only cater for farm developments, not for the land.
“There were developments that were on these farms which should ordinarily have been paid for and, of course there is a clear understanding that compensation does not also refer to compensating the land itself, it is for development,” said Zakariya.
He added that as an organization they have to look at this issue from a very strategic point of view where worldwide they also need to be sending a proper message that they did not just pick these farms for free as others would want to believe.
Early this month, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the government had started evaluating farms, which were once owned by white commercial farmers with a view of paying compensation to the dispossessed farmers.
At least 3,500 white commercial farmers lost their land when the government embarked on its controversial agrarian reforms in 2000.
There were also proposals for new farm occupants to pay for the land in the form of taxes.