15 years after, Zimbabwe begs white farmers to return as country plunges into famine

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Yemi Adedeji, Abuja

Fifteen years after it forcibly evicted at least 4000 white commercial farmers from their farms, Zimbabwean government has been forced to eat it vomits by begging the  white farmers to return as the country plunges into famine.

Crisis-hit Zimbabwe’s economy continues to deteriorate fifteen years after Robert Mugabe’s government seized large swaths of land from white farmers in the country,  a move that triggered a rapid downturn in the country’s economy.

The country’s Minister of Lands Douglas Mombeshora said provincial leaders had been tasked to come up with names of white farmers they wanted to remain on their farms. The farms should be “of strategic economic importance“.

“We have asked provinces to give us the names of white farmers they want to remain on farms so that we can give them security of tenure documents to enable them to plan their operations properly,” Mombeshora said.

Wiki leaks report said those who benefitted from the land grabs will in future be expected to pay a small rental per acre, which will be used to pay compensation to evicted white farmers, as part of the compensation process

It was reported late last year that Mugabe’s administration was willing to compensate white farmers and to clarify its indigenisation laws.

Mugabe  launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks. Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle.

Critics of the reforms have blamed the programme for low production on the farms as the majority of the beneficiaries lacked the means and skills to work the land.

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