Zimbabwe says it is willing to return land to foreign nationals whose farms were seized two decades ago. The seizures, which took place between 2000 and 2001 saw thousands of white farmers forced from their land.
The land seizures took place under a government program, while President Robert Mugabe held power, to redress, according to the BBC, ‘colonial-era land grabs’. Mugabe maintained that the country’s black farmers were forced onto marginal areas, the country’s white population owned most of the best land. The outcome of the farm seizures, however, turned out to be negative, contributing to the country’s economic decline and adversely affecting it’s relations with the West.
The BBC reports that there is a separate compensation scheme for local white farmers. While they have not been offered land, the Zimbabwean government has promised them $3.5 billion for seized infrastructure. Meanwhile, the Ministers of Finance and Agriculture said some black farmers who had received land under the program would now be moved to ‘alternative land elsewhere’.
According to the BBC one of the demands by the United States, for the lifting of economic sanctions against Zimbabwe, was that the farmers be compensated.
Umm Muhammed Umar