11:17 GMT24 September 2020
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    While President Mnangagwa has been adamant that the government will not be reversing the land reform program introduced by the ZANU-PF in the early 2000s, former landowners who had their property seized can now apply for compensation.

    The Zimbabwe government has offered to return farms to foreign nationals who had their property seized under the state policy of land redistribution 20 years ago.

    In a statement on Tuesday, the ministers of finance and agriculture said that some black farmers who received the seized land under the policy would be moved, in order for former owners "to regain possession" of their land.

    The statement said that the government will cancel offers made to black farmers who are currently on the farms and "offer them alternative land elsewhere".

    Harare's new policy could see hundreds of Europeans - primarily Dutch, British, and German nationals - who had their investments protected under international agreements benefit from the return policy, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

    A separate compensation scheme has been offered to white farmers who have not been offered land but were promised a $3.5 billion package last month as reparation for the land taken by the state two decades ago.

    The US government has said that compensating farmers who had their property taken away is a prerequisite for the lifting of sanctions, which have afflicted the African country for decades.

    The new policy aims to repair the original land redistribution policy that contributed to Zimbabwe's economic decline and harmed relations with countries such as the United Kingdom, the US, and European Union members.

    Between 2000 and 2001, thousands of white farmers saw their land forcibly taken by the government on the orders of the then-president Robert Mugabe, in an effort to repair inequalities of wealth dating from the colonial era.

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    Tags:
    decolonization, compensation, land reform, ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe
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