Relief for elderly white farmers

Zimbabwe

Leroy Dzenga

Elderly white farmers are receiving relief packages from the Zimbabwe government, as they await compensation for developments on repossessed land.

In the 2019 budget, the Zimbabwe government allocated US$53 million for white farmers but there are still outstanding issues delaying the rollout of the fund.

Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union Director, Ben Gilpin told ZTN recently that the process is currently underway.

“We have at the present time got an interim relief programme that is targeting elderly people who essentially are very low on resources at this time,” said Gilpin.

He said the process could be faster, but they are still grateful to the Government.

“We have had around 800 applications and about 25 percent of those applications have received pay-outs of about US$5000 (each). That is a very small amount compared to the amount of compensation expected and it is a well-received start,” Gilpin said.

According to Gilpin, farmers and Government have shared asset registers but they are yet to agree on the value to be reimbursed.

The impending compensation of white farmers is in accordance with the Zimbabwean constitution. Section 295 of the constitution, says: “any indigenous Zimbabwean whose agricultural land was acquired by the State before the effective date is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements that were on the land when it was acquired;

“Any person whose agricultural land was acquired by the State before the effective date and whose property rights at that time were guaranteed or protected by an agreement concluded by the Government of Zimbabwe with the government of another country, is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements in accordance with that agreement.”

Zimbabwe embarked on the land reform programme in 2000 to address the racially skewed land ownership structure.