VOL. NO: 49      DATE:
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Zimbabwean Government to Compensate White Farmers

The Zimbabwean government has invited over 1000 white farmers to collect compensation for farms that were seized under President Robert Mugabe's directives. Secretary of lands, Ngoni Masoka, issued a statement in state-run newspaper The Herald calling for dispossessed farmers to contact the lands ministry. 

Masoka said: "The former owners or representatives should contact the ministry of lands, land reform and resettlement as a matter of urgency in connection with their compensation." 

The spokesman did not indicate whether compensation would be market related or whether machinery and land development costs would be taken into account when reaching a figure. 

Many of the white farmers had left Zimbabwe already to neighbouring Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, while some had settled in Nigeria. Mugabe's government dispossessed at least 4,000 white farmers under his controversial land reforms programme. The aim was to distribute farms to "landless blacks", however, many were now owned by Mugabe's political allies. 

Regardless of the aims, the programme was poorly managed, which led to a massive slump in agricultural production. Zimbabwe was once considered the breadbasket of Southern Africa.


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