Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) are making progress in coming up with modalities to compensate former farm owners that lost land during the fast-track land reform programme, a senior official has said.
Lands ministry permanent secretary John Basera declared that the government would keep its promise to pay the farmers.
“We are certainly honouring the US$3.5bn Global Compensation Deed as we move to finalise the land reform programme. On that front, we are making strides with AfDB to ensure that farmers are compensated and we are putting necessary measures to finalise the payment modalities,” Basera said.
Government has been struggling to compensate the former farm owners.
The farmers have rejected several government proposals. They want instant cash payment.
A former farm owner who refused to be named told this publication that most ex-farmers are struggling with their upkeep, hence the government should fast-track the processes to save struggling souls.
“Since the signing of the 2020 GCD, the government has done nothing but lie to us as they failed on more than three occasions to pay us.
“We are not opposed to the AfDB deal but we are concerned that the instruments are taking long to materialise as our members are sick and dying regularly and there are chances that a significant number will not enjoy compensation in case the deed will be honoured,” a farmer said.
In May this year, at the High Level Debt Resolution Forum in the capital Harare, AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said the bank was working with the minister of finance, the government of Zimbabwe to develop a financial instrument that could potentially be useful to frontload the mobilisation of US$3.5bn for the compensation.
Adesina was appointed as the champion of Zimbabwe’s arrears and debt resolution process as the country seeks to normalise relations with bilateral and multilateral creditors.
Adesina said the development partner is working around the debt instrument to help the debt instrument leverage the capital markets to fund the compensation without adding debt to Zimbabwe.