Zimbabwe’s government has announced plans to hand back “a mere” 37 farms to foreign nationals covered by international agreements.
The farms were taken under the controversial land reform programme initiated by then-President Robert Mugabe to tackle colonial-era land grabs.
Accordig to the minister of Lands, Agriculture Water and Rural Settlement, Anxious Masuka, the government had no intention of reversing the land reform programme, but it had an “obligation” to consider its own constitution as well international treaties and agreements.
Indigenous farmers, who were dispossessed of their properties during the land reform programme, would also be given the opportunity to get their land back or to accept compensation.
In total, a “minute proportion” – 3.2% – of “beneficiaries” of the land reform programme would be affected by the latest decisions.
The US has said compensating farmers is one of the requirements for it to lift economic sanctions against Zimbabwe.