Zimbabwe’s Minister of Lands, Perrance Shiri has said that the government has instituted the process to give the land back to white farmers who were dispossessed during the fast-track land reform.
He, however, dismissed the reports that the process is tantamount to the reversal of the land reform programme. Shiri said:
Fortunately, we still haven’t resettled people on 350 such farms, but on paper, they have been acquired and are now State land. People were resettled on 90 farms which formerly belonged to indigenous farmers of which 22 are A2 settlements, what we are simply saying is that, we want to give back those farms to indigenous farmers, especially the 350 where indigenous farmers are still carrying out their operations.
Meanwhile, the recently gazetted Statutory Instrument 62 of 2020 Land Commission (Gazetted Land)(Disposal in Lieu of Compensation) Regulations, 2020 defines “acquired agricultural land” as land (or any piece thereof) compulsorily acquired under the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme.
The SI also states that an individual (whether indigenous or not) who had completed the purchase of a farm from the State in terms of a lease with an option to purchase is qualified to get land back.
The SI also states that the government will give back foreign-owned farms that were theoretically protected under Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs).