POLITICS
01/02/2018 07:13 SAST | Updated 01/02/2018 07:17 SAST

Mnangagwa's Government Offers Remaining White Farmers 99-Year Land Leases

Under ex-president, Robert Mugabe’s government white farmers were allowed to lease the land for only 5-years.

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

Zimbabwe's land ministry has issued a directive that would see an end to the discrimination of white farmers as they have now been included on a 99-year land lease, says a report.

Under ex-president, Robert Mugabe's government white farmers were allowed to lease the land for only 5-years.

But according to New Zimbabwe.com, President Emmerson Mnangagwa's government has scrapped that policy, with the country's eight acting provincial resettlement officers being told that "there should be no more restrictive 5-year leases to white farmers".

Denis Balibouse / Reuters

The ministry said the 99-year leases were immediately bankable.

This came as a report by Voice of America said that the 99-year leases issued to farmers were "untenable as they were not accepted by banks as collateral".

Ben Purcel Gilpin, director of the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) said this had made the land dead capital as the banks would not be able to sell when the farmers failed to repay their loans. Gilpin called on the government to instead offer farmers freehold titles.

Thousands of white commercial farmers and their employees were displaced and left without sources of income during the fast-tracked agrarian reforms that were masterminded by Mugabe's administration in 2000.

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According to the CFU, more than 4000 white farmers were affected by the often violent farm invasions.

Some of the white farmers that were kicked out of their properties during the agrarian reforms have now set base in neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

News24