Zimbabwe has said it does not intend to reserve its chaotic land reform programme as has been reported in some sections of the media.
Lands Minister and Finance Minister, Anxious Masuka and Mthuli Ncube, respectively, told a joint press conference on Wednesday that not every white former commercial farmer would receive compensation save for those falling under two specified categories. The two cabinet ministers said in a statement:
The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 20), section 295 clearly defines two categories entitled to compensation for both land and improvements.
These are indigenous Black African Zimbabweans, whose land was acquired by the state and any person whose agricultural land was protected by Bilateral Investment Treaties.
The statements regarding the reversal of the Land Reform are misplaced and should be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.
We reiterate that the land is the birthright of all indigenous Zimbabweans and we will guard it jealously as we strive towards fostering food security and the fulfilment of Vision 2030.
A joint statement issued by the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development on 31 August, read in part:
… Government has already provided that those former farm owners can apply in writing to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement for the restoration of title to the piece of agricultural land that was compulsorily acquired from them for resettlement.
Government will grant their applications where the circumstances presently obtaining on the ground permit the restoration of their land to them.
In this regard, in order to allow former farm owners in this category to regain possession of the pieces of land that were acquired from them, Government will, in the appropirate circumstances, revoke the offer letters of resettled farmers currently occupying those pieces of land and offer them alternative land elsewhere.