The Zimbabwean government has so far paid out 42.7 million U.S. dollars to former white commercial farmers who lost their land during the country’s on-going land reform program, an official has said.
The land reform program seeks to redistribute farms to formerly landless blacks.
The country embarked on the land reform program in 2000 to redress colonial land imbalances, resulting in a number of white farmers dying during violent seizures as they resisted being evicted during the early days.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa told Parliament during the presentation of the mid-term fiscal policy statement recently that the government was expediting mapping and valuation of improvements on the acquired farms for compensation purposes.
The European Union and the United Nations Development Programme have provided 7.8 million dollars for evaluation of the farms.
“To date, 42.7 million dollars has been paid out for 43 farms, notwithstanding fiscal constraints being faced by government,” Chinamasa said.
Some of the farms had however been subdivided into smaller lots, thus raising the number of individual farms up for compensation.
In March, Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora said the government had fully paid compensation to 240 former white commercial farmers and partially compensated 17 others.
The government acquired more than 6,240 farms – approximately 14.5 million hectares – that belonged to the white commercial farmers whom it now seeks to compensate.