Zimbabwe’s arguably most successful Minister Of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, And Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Jongwe Masuka has addressed the issue that began bad blood between Zimbabwe and its former colonisers. Masuka revealed in an exclusive interview with TechnoMag that only 96% of the white commercial farmers illegally and forcefully removed from their land signed up and agreed USD$3,5billion in compensation.
Speaking live on TechMag Tv Masuka said
‘And over 96% of the former farm owners have signed up to this deal.”
From Ngungunyana Building No.1 Liberation Legacy Way, Masuka answered the billion dollar question concerning government’s actual position on the former white commercial farmers.Minister Masuka said the white former commercial farmers will receive all compensation as agreed.
Dr Masuka cited compensation is for those whose land was disposed during land invasions in 2000 who are indigenous Zimbabweans or citizens of countries that had ratified bilateral investment protection and promotion agreements or bilateral investment treaties with Zimbabwe at the time their land was compulsorily acquired and indeed so are entitled for compensation.
Minister Masuka categorically made it clear though that compensation will never be for land but rather for improvements on the land in line with the country’s laws.Basking in the glory of success after success since becoming the final buck with regards to Zimbabwe’s land, agriculture, fisheries, water and rural resettlement Dr Masuka said,
”i think the correct perspective is that former farm owners and government agreed on a compensation figure, global compensation figure of USD3,5billion dollars.THIS IS FOR IMPROVEMENTS ONLY”
Certainly Dr Masuka did not mince his words continuing the stance his predecessor the late former Retired Chief Air Marshal Prence ”Gudo Guru” Shiri started on the dawn of the new dispensation which saw the ministry playing re-engagements with its estwhile former colonisers whose kith and kin where amongst the 4000 white commercial farmers who ensured Zimbabwe was the bread basket of Africa.
In this light, Government recently engaged a British financial advisory firm to assist in raising the US$3,5 billion needed to pay former farm owners whose land was compulsorily acquired for resettlement as agreed between the two parties in the Global Compensation Deed signed last year.
The firm says on its website that it is an independent advisory firm dedicated to the provision of impartial, specialist financial advice to governments, central banks, sub-sovereign or state-owned clients and other parties-at-interest primarily on issues of debt management and infrastructure financing.
Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube said the appointment of the financial advisors was done in compliance with the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets and began with an international call for Expressions of Interest in September last year.
He said despite delays in their appointment the financial advisors had already commenced work with the Joint Resources Mobilising Committee supporting its capital-raising efforts with a number of funding options being worked on.
“These include, but are not limited to bonds issued domestically (both listed and unlisted); bonds issued into international markets (both listed and unlisted); listed and unlisted equity and quasi equity type instruments; structured financial arrangements, including the issuance of asset backed securities, and off balance sheet financing arrangements using commercial guarantees,” he said.
In the statement, Prof Ncube said Government had also received US$1 million that will go towards the compensation from a dividend paid on its shareholding.
“An amount of US$1 million was declared in favour of the fund for compensating former farm owners and this amount will be applied towards partial settlement of the agreed global compensation figure.
“Subsequently dividends will be paid quarterly and applied in the same manner,” Prof Ncube said in the statement.
The signing of the GCD marked a turning point in the restoration of trust and cooperation between the former farm owners and Government.
Prof Ncube said it also consummated Government’s desire and commitment to move the Vision 2030 agenda forward and to ensure its timely realisation through increased agricultural productivity, among other initiatives
Prof Ncube said these structures will augment and complement the resources that have already been secured by Government.
In the 2021 National Budget, Government committed $2 billion towards the compensation of former farmers and the resources are currently being disbursed.
In addition, Government also secured US$250 million towards the compensation process through the donation of a shareholding of equal value in Kuvimba Mining House, to a special purpose vehicle specifically created to raise funds for the compensation.
With the above strides the Second Republic means well and must be commended.This was unheard of during the former government led by the late President Robert Mugabe.
Minister Doctor Masuka reinforced government stance not to be misinterpreted stating further that
”Government will not pay for the land.”
Such bold leadership by Masuka implementing his Principal’s 2030 vision has seen both ZANU PF and opposition MPs show rare form of unity in their appreciation of how since his appointment end of last year, Agriculture Minister Anxious Masuka responded to all pertinent issues with the highest level of competence.
Masuka was appointed minister late 2020, replacing the late Perrance Shiri who succumbed to Covid-19.
From his first appearance in the House of Assembly for the weekly ministerial question and answer sessions and his getting the job done, minister Masuka always leaves MPs from rival parties Zanu PF and MDC nodding in appreciation.
This includes hard to please MPs such as Harare East legislator Tendai Biti, Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya both from the MDC Alliance, and independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa.
Mliswa, one time described Masuka as different from his other colleagues.
“Haaa uyu anoziva uyu. Kwete zvimwe zvatinosiona. Apa President vakagona. (This one is competent. Unlike his other colleagues. The President sported talent)”
Biti also in agreement with Mliswa both opposition MP’s immediately interjected, “True the man is good. Haikona zvaMthuli. Haazive chinhu (This one is good, unlike Mthuli Ncube who knows nothing).
All MPs could be seen giving applause as Masuka eloquently responded to their questions relating to animal husbandry and crop production.
Dr Masuka enunciated the governments vision that indeed they will pay off the former white commercial farms who lost their land through the land invasions however only for improvements they made on the land and never for the land itself.
Masuka added ”So the improvements on these farms are valued at that.And over 96% of the former farm owners have signed up to this deal.We have subsequently formed the joint resources mobilisation committee that is seized with the matter of raising the requisite resources to ensure that the compensation is done in the framework that has been agreed with the former farm owners.So that clarifies the position regarding the USD3,5 billion dollars.”