White ex-farmers on cusp of compensationGovernment is finalising compensation for white former commercial farmers as part of measures to bring to finality the Fast-Track Land Reform Programme, a Cabinet minister has said.

Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa told The Sunday Mail that valuations had been done for about 1 400 of the roughly 6 000 farms concerned.

He said the exercise was in terms of the Section 295 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

“What Section 295 of the Constitution is doing is to give Government a contingent liability to pay compensation, but only until evaluations are done,” he said.

“We are not in a position to know how much that quantum is and I would not want discussion of a speculative nature on how much the compensation is going to be.

“So we will not speculate on how much will be paid but that amount will be ascertained once the evaluations have been completed.”

“That can only come about after evaluations are done. What I certainly dissuade everyone from doing is to carry out speculative discussions because we all don’t know.

“We are all in the dark until that exercise is completed.

“From about 6 000 farms which were acquired, around 1 400 farms were evaluated so the exercise now is to ensure that we finish the evaluation of the remainder of the farms.

“We have provided the resources and we want this exercise to be sped up so that we can bring finality to this land reform issue.

“There are two exercises that are being undertaken which are fixing of new boundaries – this is preparatory to issuance of security documents like A1 permits and 99 year lease and this evaluation for compensation.”

Compensation will also be made for acquired farms covered by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements.

Section 295 of the Constitution says: “(1) Any indigenous Zimbabwean whose agricultural land was acquired by the State . . . is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements that were made on the land when it was acquired.

“(2) Any person whose agricultural land was acquired by the State … and whose property rights at that time were guaranteed or protected by an agreement concluded by the Government of Zimbabwe with the government of another country, is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements in accordance with that agreement.

“(3) Any person, other than a person referred to in subsection (1) or (2), whose agricultural land was acquired by the State . . . is entitled to compensation from the State only for improvements that were on the land when it was acquired.

“(4) Compensation payable under subsections (1), (2) and (3) must be assessed and paid in terms of an Act of Parliament.”

White ex-farmers on cusp of compensation

Author: Livingstone Marufu

Source: The Sunday Mail

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