Zimbabwe to complete land valuations in May to pay compensation

Zimbabwe plans to complete land valuations by the end of May to determine the level of compensation to be paid to former white commercial farmers who lost their properties during the government’s land reform programme.

“Given the significant progress made to date, it is anticipated that that this comprehensive farm improvements valuation exercise will be completed by end of May,” the government said in a statement on Sunday.

“The completion of the work of the Ad Hoc Compensation Working Group will enable government and former farm owners, in conjunction with cooperating partners, to progress toward closure of the land issue,” according to the statement.

The ad hoc group comprises government representatives and former property owners.

In 2000, the government seized farms belonging to mostly white owned farms and replaced them with black farmers, saying the move was meant to address colonial imbalances.

Zimbabwe has budgeted RTGS$53m this year as an interim compensation.

The Commercial Farmers Union and former owners, which are represented by two groupings called Compensation Committee and The Valuation Consortium, have said the RTGS$53m shouldn’t be distributed to a few but be open to all farmers.