Empowering Farmers through Knowledge

White Zimbabwe Farmers Reject 3.5 Billion Dollar Deal, Demand Return of Land.

White Zimbabwe farmers living in the Southern African region have rejected Zimbabwe’s offer to settle a 3.5-billion-dollar land compensation deal over 10 years. The farmers, who were removed from their properties more than 20 years ago, say they will be stepping up pressure against the Zimbabwean government by demanding the return of their farms to them.

The amended agreement was signed in 2020 with the farmers, but they argue that the 3.5-billion-dollar deal is not enough and is a slap in the face. The issue of land ownership has always been a highly emotive one, and these white former farmers in Zimbabwe say they have a tangible claim.

“There is nothing to hide here, for the farmers, they want to put their case, when this global compensation deed was signed one of the issues was a few hundred farmers destitute, and we have nothing, and they don’t know how they will afford their medical bills at the end of the month,” explained Dr Theo De Jager, the chairperson of Southern African Agriculture Initiative.

The farmers are demanding fair compensation for their land and have turned to the South African courts to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government. “We decided to carry on with an edict claim against the SA government on behalf of the farmers we represent, in the first half of 2019. We issued 56 summonses against SA government and President Cyril Ramaphosa for a …. claim for the damages suffered by Zimbabwean farmers as a result of the deprivation of their rights, the Con-Court is currently tasked with this matter,” said Willie Spies, the legal representative of the Zimbabwean farmers.

Some Zimbabweans living in South Africa say they would welcome the white farmers back because they created job opportunities for them. “Because people from Zimbabwe are stuck in getting jobs, there are no jobs maybe the farmers can get the money and we can get back our jobs. The white farmers should be compensated because they upgraded them and built dams and they invested money, even though it is our land those were past injustices,” said one Zimbabwean living in South Africa.

These farmers say their land claim is worth more than 10 billion dollars, and that the only way to get compensation is by putting political pressure on the Zimbabwean government to amend its land policies. The issue of land ownership and compensation for past injustices remains a contentious issue in Zimbabwe, with no clear resolution in sight.

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