White farmers in Zimbabwe have rejected the land offer from the government saying that it was a trap and the government’s evil strategy to evade paying compensation to farmers who lost their homes, land and businesses during the fast track land reform programme.
These remarks were made following the gazetting of Statutory Instrument 62 of 2020 Land Commission (Gazetted Land Disposal in Lieu of Compensation) Regulations, 2020 which invited farmers who lost their farms during the land reform to apply to be reconsidered for repossession.
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Some analysts considered the move as a reversal of the land reform programme but the government is refuting the claims.
Ben Freeth, the spokesperson of the SADC Tribunal Rights Watch, a group representing nearly 4,500 dispossessed commercial farmers said:
Regrettably, this piece of misleading legislation is another attempt at window dressing to make it appear that the Zimbabwe government is going to return farms to their owners and re-establish property rights – but this is not the case.
Freeth added that the SI 62 of 2020 discriminated against white Zimbabwe farmers when it favours foreign farmers whose farms were covered under BIPPAs and BITs because “the bankrupt government needs the support of foreign donors and international lending institutions.”
More: The Zimbabwe Mail