Zimbabwe has agreed to pay $3.5 billion in compensation for white farmers who had their land expropriated during a government sponsored land grab enacted to pursue reparations for colonial rule.
The Zimbabwe government has signaled its intention to compensate the dispossessed white farmers an eye-watering total of $3.5 billion (USD) in an effort to mend fractured relationships with the west as the country was plunged in decades-long economic turmoil as a result of their agrarian reform.
Around two decades ago, President Robert Mugabe’s controversial administration seized land from 4,500 white farmer’s families and redistributed it among 300,000 black families. Consequently, economic woes rocked the Southern African nation leading to mass starvation and unprecedented levels of hyperinflation.
The former bread basket of Africa does not currently have the funds, and the compensation agreement will be met in the form of bonds and the loans from third parties to redress the balance.
According to Reuters, white farmers are planned to receive 50% within the first year and for the remaining balance to be cleared within five years.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s agreement clarifies that the white farmers will not be recompensed for the land itself, but for the infrastructure in its stead.
What compensation would be disseminated among the white farmers and their descendants–given the period of time to elapse between the expropriations and today–was left unclear.
Mugabe’s government accused Western countries of punishing Zimbabwe by imposing economic sanctioned, further deepening the country’s economic woes.
The issue of land reform still divides the country today. Some argue that, in spite of economic paralysis, land redistribution empowers black farmers.
Neighbors South Africa appear to be toying with similarly divisive rhetoric as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) political party spouts violent propaganda baiting white farmers with bloody expropriation at a time where white farmers are slaughtered on a regular basis.
Earlier this month, National File reported on a bizarre pronouncement from a Vice President, Kembo Mohadi, who blamed white people for failing to teach the succeeding black administrations on how to run an economy.