Zimbabwe’s resettled farmers have to pay for any improvements on the farms that they were allocated so that the government can compensate the white farmers who were dispossessed of the land.
This was said by the Minister of Lands and Agriculture Perrance Shiri after he has had been asked by Zaka North Member of Parliament Robson Mavenyengwa who wanted to know whether it was now government policy for resettled farmers to compensate former white farmers.
“It is true that the new farmers have to contribute towards the cost of improvement on the farms and that money ultimately is used for compensating the former farmers,” Shiri said.
Asked by Binga North legislator Prince Dubeko Sibanda what the rationale for transferring the burden of compensation from the government to the farmers, Shiri said: “It makes common sense that instead of labouring the tax payer, the person who is directly benefitting from those improvements contributes towards the compensation of the former farmer.”
Shiri emphasised that the new farmers were not expected to pay the white farmers directly.
“Let me categorically state that the compensation is not being done directly from the new farmer to the former farmer but is being done through Government.”
The former white farmers have said they need about $9 billion in compensation which is almost twice the country’s present national budget.
Q & A:
HON. MAVENYENGWA: My question is directed to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement, Hon. Sen. Rtd. Air Chief Marshall Shiri. Is it Government policy for resettled farmers to compensate former farmers on their land development made on the land when they get resettled?
THE MINISTER OF LANDS, AGRICULTURE, WATER, CLIMATE AND RURAL RESETTLEMENT (HON. SEN. RTD. AIR CHIEF MARSHALL SHIRI): Thank you Mr. Speaker Sir. It is true that the new farmers have to contribute towards the cost of improvement on the farms and that money ultimately is used for compensating the former farmers. I thank you.
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