“Former white farmers who had their properties and assets seized during the Fast Track Land Reform Programme in the early 2000s are reported to have written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa demanding a compensation of US$8.6 Billion. The farmers wrote to the president just after his inauguration in November last year,” reported Spotlight Zimbabwe.
There are many Zanu PF chefs, who became millionaires literally overnight, because they got a piece of paper saying they were the new owner of Farm XYZ measuring so many thousand hectares complete with all the fixed and movable assets including buildings, animals and crops on the said property worth millions of dollars. The evicted farm owner was often forced to leave with the shirt on his back and very little else. Some were hurried off the farm with a boot or worse.
Many thinking Zimbabweans have condemned the barbarism and gross injustice of the Zanu PF’s racist and politically motivated land reform; at the time and still do so to this day. Zanu PF allowed the farm invasion to flare up during elections periods; the violence would spread to include the rest of the country – directed at the opposition supporters who were accused of siding with the white farmers.
However, the white farmers demanding compensation must accept that their demands must be directed and single out, like heat seeking missile, those individuals who benefited from the farm seizures. The white farmers must seek out those overnight millionaires, many of who are still living at the farms and demand they be paid fair compensation and recover what they can if the individuals cannot pay.
Many of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite, who are the new multiple farm owners, are filthy rich. The white farmers will only have to shake them a little and $1.3 million diamond rings; 40 gold watches; mansions in Singapore, SA, Zimbabwe; posh cars; millions is bank accounts under different names; etc. The white farmers will be cursing themselves for having demanded only $8.6 billion compensation!
The idea that bill to compensate the white farmers must be added to the nation debt is a none-starter. Ordinary Zimbabweans, who include the white farmers’ workers who were booted off the farm too at the same time as the white farmers, are as much victims of the farm seizures as the white farmers themselves.
It is a matter of historic record that farm invasions was one of the major causes of Zimbabwe’s economic collapse; the country is yet to recover. Today 90% of our people are out of work and a staggering 72.3% of the population are living on US$1.00 or less a day. If these people are going to be burdened a massive US$ 8.6 billion debt then to whatever economic recovery period the nation was projecting one must add 50 years – not that economic recovery to a nation that has sunk this deep is ever a certainty, it is not.Those who benefited from the seizures of the white farms must pay the white farmers their dues. To ask the Zimbabwe taxpayer to foot the compensation bill is collective punishment designed to allow the looters to continue to benefit from the ill-got loot – double dipping – whilst the ordinary people who have paid dearly because of the economic collapse the farm invasions brought are being forced to pay dearly to compensate the white farmers – double jeopardy.