The Sunday News
Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday News Reporter
THE Global Compensation Deed agreement between the Government and former white farmers is part of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement strategy, as it seeks to close rifts that were triggered by the Fast-Track Land Reform Programme that the Government initiated at the turn of the millennium, a Cabinet Minister has said.
At least 4 000 white commercial farmers who lost their farms during land reform are set to get US$3.5 billion in compensation for improvements made on the farms after Government and the farmers’ representatives signed the historic land deal recently.
Unpacking the agreement during a discussion with Zimpapers on Monday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube said the Global Compensation Deed was part of the country’s re-engagement efforts, and thus would be to the benefit of everyone.
Minister Ncube was answering a question on whether the agreement would be a strain on tax payers.
“It is a burden worth carrying. It is a burden with carrying in the sense that it will resolve the issues around the land situation in Zimbabwe. You’ll also realise that this is a way to reengage with the rest of the international community.
“The reason why Zimbabwe had difficult international relations, at least how it started, had to do with land acquisition programme in 2000. That’s what triggered the collapse in the relations with some of the nations around the world.
‘So, we need to move on and this is also supportive of the re-engagement process which benefits everyone. The whole country. So it shouldn’t be surprising that tax payers should bear this burden and it is a burden worth bearing,” Prof Ncube said.