You are currently viewing our desktop site, do you want to download our app instead?
Moneyweb Android App Moneyweb iOS App Moneyweb Mobile Web App
Join our mailing list to receive top business news every weekday morning.

Zimbabwe’s evicted white farmers offered $3.5bn payout

Deal pertains to 4 000 affected farmers.
Image: Bloomberg

Zimbabwe’s white commercial farmers, who were violently evicted from their land in a series of invasions that began two decades ago, said they have been offered $3.5 billion to settle their dispute with the government.

The offer is for improvements and assets on the more than 4 000 farms that were seized and doesn’t pertain to the land itself, said Ben Gilpin, director of the Commercial Farmers Union. An agreement is yet to be reached. The CFU represented most large-scale farmers in the southern African nation.

Neither Zimbabwe’s agriculture minister nor officials in the finance ministry immediately answered questions sent to their phones Wednesday and it’s not clear where Zimbabwe would find $3.5 billion. The country is battling inflation of almost 800% and dealing with shortages of currency, fuel and food with over 90% of the population out of formal employment.

Dispossessed farmers had been seeking $10 billion, but that was 15 to 20 years ago. Zimbabwe’s government maintains that the UK, the former colonial power, should help pay the farmers. That’s unlikely to happen because the UK and most western governments criticised the seizures and the allocation of the properties to senior members of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party — alongside allegations of human rights abuses.

The offer is an attempt to draw to a close a dispute that tipped Zimbabwe’s economy into freefall by slashing export income and incurring sanctions from the US and European Union. Zimbabwe’s rulers maintain that the land was taken forcibly during colonial times and needed to be returned to Black Zimbabweans.

The Telegraph reported the potential deal earlier.

© 2020 Bloomberg

COMMENTS   17

Sort by:
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Top voted

You must be signed in to comment.

SIGN IN SIGN UP

The mere fact that an offer is made is an acknowledgment of “mia culpa”. The violent seizure of the farms went against every principle of law and human decency. Let’s just for a minute assume that they were correct in saying that the land was stolen and the government wanted to take it back legally. Then the question is why did they not sit down and make arrangements with these farmers to either pay them for the improvements and equipment so that they could go and make a living elsewhere or alternatively, as in Zambia, enter into a ninety-nine-year lease agreement.
The reason this was not done goes to intent and the government of Zimbabwe must be held to account until justice is seen to have been done regardless of how long it takes. The longer it takes the longer the ordinary people will bear the consequences.

Too late and too little. The country is ruined. Freedom and transformation the Africa way is complete.

Getting money would be the easiest thing. Just withdraw it from all Bob’s and his cohort’s overseas bank accounts. Hey, they could even put the rest of the funds back into the treasury, who knows it just might open Zimbabwe for business again.

Paying the farmers won’t help much except to bury the hatchet..Too little too late

They should abolish their segregation policy (Have the Africans not learnt that “Apartheid” is in nobody’s interest) bring the farmers back (expertise and knowledge) start a training academy where the ex pats can teach the locals, spread love around and invest in people, get the food planted and kick start the economy! What was that? Too much hard work?

Paying the white farmers is only kicking the can down the road, all the while the locals are starving and will continue to sink into a poverty abyss so deep, dying will be the best thing to do!

Zimbabwe, once the bread basket of Sub Saharan Africa, a beautiful country, Utopia..

Sadly the game is gone , tourism destroyed, sn economy raped by greed, a country reduced to a rathole of despair run by corrupt Politicians, much like their Southern Neighbour

Zimbabwe/South Africa, two more failed African countries

“it is not clear where Zim would find 3,5Billion Dollars” !!
The normal African way : Beg , borrow and Steal ;

What these clowns in Zim do not realize, is that they are paying a much higher price for land grabs. They are actually paying a very steep price, much more than the full value of the land. They are not paying that price to the legal owners though. They pay that cost in the form of the loss of economic growth, the lack of employment opportunities, the hunger and disease, the hyperinflation of the currency, and the implosion of the banking system.

Expropriation without compensation is a million times more costly than the alternative. A willing buyer and a willing seller transact using valuable currency, while an unwilling seller is paid in the form of the valueless lives lost during the financial ruin that follows the transaction.

Somehow the fact that there were / are “valueless lives lost” seems to be invisible to the proponents of the BLM movement. Again, all facts are selected to suit the narrative of the activists earning a living on creating chaos.

Dumbabwe can get hold of US$3.5 billion? Perhaps in Dumbabwe Dollars.

This is a great step in the right direction and long overdue. Have to give credit to the president. Well done!

South Africans never miss an opportunity to talk each other down. On the other hand, Zimbabweans never miss an opportunity to pat themselves on the back, and vigorously at that, with much gusto! Just a mere whiff of a possibility of something with a fraction of potential, anything good. Need not even be correct or deserved, just has to sound good. Hey, Dadape?

Most likely another bucket of BS. Would not trust these guys as far as I can throw them.

Zim needed to make this promise so that they can borrow more money from overseas.

Question is how much integrity does a liberation party government have?

The $3.5 bn is a nice thought but will not see the light of day. Zim is bankrupt.

I am disappointed that Moneyweb chooses not to publish my comment about the Black man’s racism in Zimbabwe. Sad.

MW moderates to be politically correct. No freedom of speech in this comment section.

Well take note ….
SA is heading in the same direction, albeit 26 years later…
Soon we will all sing kumbaya with zero to show for it…..

Hopefully the zim government is not meaning that the money unit they are using is not their own zim dollar – after all they don’t have that kind of money – not in their own zim dollar unit & for sure not in the next 50 years that kind of money in usa dollar units

Too little too late, my brother in law hanged himself after his eviction.

His 4 children and widow are mentally scared for life. He was SAS and he once said to me that if any of his family had been killed he would have hunted Mugabe and cronies himself. He was well trained and quite capable of doing that.

End of comments.

LATEST CURRENCIES  

USD / ZAR
GBP / ZAR
EUR / ZAR

Podcasts

NEWSLETTERS WEB APP SHOP PORTFOLIO TOOL TRENDING CPD HUB

Follow us:

Search Articles:Advanced Search
Click a Company: