Zimbabwe plans to compensate white farmers whose lands were seized during a widespread redistribution programme by the government.
Earlier in the week, a document was submitted to parliament outlining how farmers will be paid, be it for both land and self-improvement as well as equipment acquired from them.
If approved by the government, the ministry plans to set up a compensation fund. The pay out could amount to 10 billion US dollars in legal settlement.
According to the Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, the government is likely to compensate the farmers as it is part of the country’s constitution.
‘‘This [compensation] is an obligation under our constitution as far as I am concerned,” Chinamasa told AFP.
However, Veteran president Robert Mugabe had previously vowed not to compensate white farmers as the land belongs to the black community. Mugabe claimed on several occasions that the land was stolen during colonial rule. All the best farmland was reserved for white settlers and the rest was left for the black community
The Southern African country has been in an economic meltdown since 2000 after a directive from the government to seize the land of about 4,000 white settlers.
Since then , Zimbabwe has struggled to gain a footing in the agricultural sector, once a pivotal source to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.