737 white former commercial farmers register for compensation

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Government has completed the registration of white former commercial farmers eligible for compensation for improvements on farms in line with the country’s laws. The exercise ends tomorrow, 737 farmers having registered.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development says payments to the former farmers will start soon after a verification exercise.

“The registration of former farm owners for the interim relief payment scheme to the distressed former farm owners has been completed, with 737 farmers having been registered for the payment,” reads the statement.

“The verification exercise of the registered farmers by Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water Climate and Rural Resettlement has begun and will be completed by 31 May 2019.

“Payments to the former farm owners will start immediately after the verification exercise and will be done through the Finance Department of the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement.”

Government says significant progress has been made on the accelerated valuation exercise, which will be completed by tomorrow.

Concurrently, Government and the farmers’ representatives are now working together on the finalisation of the constitutional compensation commitment.

Government has agreed to pay an interim relief $55 000 for each farmer who lost land with improvements during the land reform programme undertaken at the turn of millennium when landless citizens sought to have a share of the resource.

Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) director Mr Ben Gilpin has reaffirmed Government’s commitment to pay the former farmers by end of this month to moderate their challenges.

A proper and comprehensive compensation package is expected after the initial relief payment.