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Zimbabwe To Pay $3.5 Billion Compensation For Improvements On Expropriated Looted Land

Government of Zimbabwe on July 28, 2020 said it will pay $3.5 billion compensation for exhaustible improvements on looted land the country expropriated from farmers of European descent. That was reported by some media on July 29, 2020. According to the reports, the government of Zimbabwe will compensate the farmers for exhaustible improvements rendered on expropriated land particularly infrastructure, but not land per se. The government of Zimbabwe is said to have also emphasized that the compensation deal does not in any way imply a reversal of its land reform policy.

Expropriation of land looted during the colonial era in Zimbabwe, from African farmers by people of European descent, took place under a land redistribution program by the previous government of Zimbabwe in the early 2000s. Under the popular landmark program, looted land claimed then to belong to 4 500 farmers of European descent, was expropriated and redistributed to about 300 000 African Zimbabwean families.

No compensation was paid during the implementation of the land redistribution program mainly due to a contentious dispute between the then governments of Zimbabwe and Great Britain, over who was responsible for paying it. Whether farmers of European descent should be paid for exhaustible improvements on expropriated land their ancestors looted from African farmers, was therefore never disputed in Zimbabwe.

According to archived previous reports, the then previous government of Zimbabwe in principle agreed the farmers should be compensated, but argued it was Great Britain that was responsible for doing that because, after all, as former colonial power in Zimbabwe, Great Britain facilitated the looting of land belonging to Africans by Europeans, hence land ownership imbalances that faced the country after independence. The government of Zimbabwe is said to have continued that its stance on the matter was supported by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who promised to pay about $3 billion compensation to the farmers whose farms were expropriated in order to redress the colonial land ownership inequality, as well as to please and get Zimbabwe sign the iconic Lancaster House Agreement. However, when former British Prime Minister Tony Blair came to power, he cancelled PM Thatcher’s deal with the government of Zimbabwe, hence leaving the landless Caucasian farmers languishing penniless in one of Africa’s wonderlands!


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