Zimbabwe considers compensation tribunal for former white farmers

Zimbabwe is considering setting up a special tribunal to determine the value of compensation and how to pay former white commercial farmers who lost their land since 2000.

Many white farmers lost their land in the 2000s during Robert Mugabe’s reign as president.

New President Emmerson Mnangagwa however ordered people illegally occupying formerly white-owned commercial farms to vacate. He assured white farmers of their security, urging them to get on with their business.

Mugabe launched the disastrous land reform programme in 2000, justifying it as an effort to stimulate economic growth for black Zimbabweans.

The evictions, often brutal and arbitrary, were blamed for a collapse in agricultural production and chronic food shortages that forced the one-time breadbasket of Africa to become dependent on imports of staples.

Economic output fell by half following the start of the land seizures, as more than 4,000 of the country’s 4,500 white farmers were stripped of their land.

Mugabe’s 37-year reign came to an abrupt end in November following a military takeover.

Mnangagwa, having been sacked by Mugabe and fled to South Africa, returned to Harare to take the presidency upon Mugabe’s resignation.

The new leader has vowed to revive the country’s economy by lifting agricultural production and attracting foreign investment.