ZANU PF admits millions owed to displaced farmers

Ben Freeth warned that ZANU PF is carrying out “ethnic cleansing”

By Alex Bell
10 December 2012

ZANU PF has admitted that it does have an obligation to pay compensation to farmers forced off their properties in the land grab campaign, also admitting it illegally seized many farms.

This was revealed in a Central Committee report tabled before the ZANU PF Annual Conference over the weekend. The report said that farms covered by Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) were seized, in contravention of those agreements. These include properties belonging to citizens from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The report detailed that out of 153 BIPPA protected farms, 116 were taken over under the land grab.

“The agreements require that Government pays fair compensation in currency of former owner’s choice for both land and improvements for acquired BIPPA farms. In this regard, Government has an outstanding payment of 16 million Euros awarded to Dutch farmers,” the report states.

The Dutch compensation claim was filed by farmers who lost land in Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2002. The group of farmers took their case to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), which ruled in their favour in 2009 and ordered Zimbabwe to pay them 8.8 million euros compensation, with an additional 10% interest for every year since the farms were seized.

The total payment now owed, including the interest owed, stands at almost 24 million euros. The farmers, including three British nationals who are now calling on the UK to halt the lifting of targeted sanctions on the ZANU PF regime, until the settlement is paid.

ZANU PF’s Central Committee report meanwhile said there was no money to pay compensation.

“The Dutch farmers who took the country to the International Court for Settlement of Investment Disputes and won have not been paid. In addition, a German family, the Von Pezolds, has also taken us to the ISCID for their farm which we acquired and partly resettled. We are framing our defence with the Attorney General’s Office. The Von Pezolds claim is in the region of US$600 million.”

The takeover of farms has also continued unabated with the ZANU PF report saying that more than 200 farmers are being prosecuted for “refusing” to give up their land.

Former commercial farmer Ben Freeth said the campaign will not end while there is no outcry from key sectors of Zimbabwean society, namely the MDC parties in government. He warned that ZANU PF is carrying out “ethnic cleansing.”

“This is racist. This is apartheid. Zimbabwe will remain hungry and remain poor so long as this backwards, feudal system is able to persist and no one does anything about it,” Freeth said.

Meanwhile ZANU PF has finally taken over the farm that used to belong to Ian Smith, with the Land Ministry handing the property to a college. The remaining portion of Gwenoro farm was the final part of the property not to be taken over in over a decade of land seizures.

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15 Responsesto “ZANU PF admits millions owed to displaced farmers”

  1. super mondo says:

    chimpus warvet will love this .the truth is out.

    • Chimbwido Warvet says:

      My position on taking land from the previous racist white landlords in my country of birth is well known. I will not repeat what I have said before lest it becomes monotonous.

      • super mondo says:

        what zanu has done is wrong ,they admtited to stealing.if people purchase land in a country with leagal acceptance then their ownership should be protected by law.your ignorance is embeded in the halfhead you have.oh goshh aaaaah hahaha.lol

        • Chimbwido Warvet says:

          Woof, Woof, the last time I checked my Oxford English Dictionary, a thief is defined as a person who steals something from another or one who commits theft, Oh Gosh, no, no Aah. These guys stole our land for hundreds of years and now want to be compensated for their crimes. It will be the height of stupidity and foolishness to pay people who abused, terrorized and even murdered our people when they demanded for equal treatment why they were denied in their country of birth. What will be the justification to pay them anyway?
          You see, they think they are too clever and can take us for a ride again. They can go and f..k hell with this stupid mentality, Superdope. While I do not represent Mugabe’s government, I am pretty sure that not even a penny will be released by the present or a future government of this country.

          • Proud White Man says:

            war vet ? hahaha ! the kind that kills his own unarmed people by being a stupid arse and living in the past, hokoyo shamwari , the past is going to catch up to you very soon and the price will be high.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            My friend, you can be a proud white man who is going to eat air pies. Mark my words and do it correctly, no penny will be paid by this government to anyone whose so-called land was taken for resettlement purposes. This is the Zimbabwean land which the proud white man stole from the indigenous people of this country. You can have wet dreams, and it ends there mate.

          • Proud White Man says:

            ALL land was “taken” from the vanquished all over the world and from all people, the difference is the land was put to use, Cities were built Economies were established, but I’m talking of 100′s of years ago, is that how far behind you are comrade ? what have YOU built ? what have YOU accomplished ? what will YOU leave behind comrade ? just dust and desolation.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            Mr Proud White Man, I know you are a bitter man and quite often bitter people speak through their tummies and not through their heads. How on earth could the indigenous people of this country have accomplished anything when you and your people controlled every facet of their lives. You controlled all the land in my country and still today you control 99 percent of the economy while my people have nothing. Are you not ashamed to stand on high moral ground when the people of this country have suffered for hundreds of years at your f….ng hands? Who do you want to impress? My advice to you is to shut your foul mouth and if you want to talk to be guided by reason and not foolishness.

          • Proud White Man says:

            such a small insignificant little boy, who actually understands nothing of the World, shame Comrade do you not see your “leaders” eating White mans humble pie even to this day ? while YOU eat “air pies” while you spew thoughtless rubbish on any computer the white man lets you use while he’s away ? careful the boss is on his way back from work it’s time to get off his computer, Mr white man will do, thank you.

          • Chimbwido Warvet says:

            Of course, I know very well the games you play to punish those of us who do not toe your foolish path – economic sanctions, economic blockade and the rest of it. You have no morals and yet good at spewing poo all the time when all you have done to mankind is to cause misery, destruction and death for those who dare to speak out. Time is not on your side guys. Today you have to work hard for what you own and not to live on other peoples’ sweat and blood as you did before.

  2. Chimbwido Warvet says:

    History teaches us never again to be cruel to any human being and now those who used to call themselves a superior race in my country of birth and controlled and owned everything at the expense of the indigenous people of this country are now crying foul. In my Shona language we say ‘zvavakadya kare zvakakwana, hapachina chavo ikozvino. Kanazvangu zvasvika ndinotinamai vangu vanoera soko yekwakumene, hapana chainofanira kubadarwa kumbava idzi’. In English, it means no one should be paid not even a penny for owning and controlling land they had acquired illegally. Our land was stolen and owned by foreigners who never paid a penny for it for over two hundred years and now they want to be paid for their criminality. Where in the world, have criminals been compensated for crimes committed. If anything, Zimbabwe should take its case to the International Court of Justice to get reparations for over two hundreds years under foreign domination and the plundering of our mineral and other natural resources by countries that are well known. We have been taken for a ride for too long and it is time to get justice if there is justice in this world. The bottom line is any person who buys wares or land from a thief is treated as a thief at law. For this simple reason, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Switzerland have no legal claim to the land they bought from a thief.

    • Common Sense says:

      But get this into your head once and for all. There are two categories of farm here:-

      a) Those that were on land taken hundreds of years ago by displacing the original inhabitants, and handed down the family chain.. not many people disagree with you there

      b) Farms bought LEGALLY after Independence, where Govt’ had right of first refusal, and importantly in this context/story were part of BIPPA agreements (i.e. this is farms on land legally purchased)

      It is especially these where they have been taken forcibly and given to cronies that is thieving and wrong….. (I would also argue that those under category a) are wrong since they have been given (Yes GIVEN) to cronies who kiss ZPF’s arse. They are the most undeserving people on the planet. ALL the land should have gone back to rightful owners.

      So please get off your myopic high horse, and smell the coffee…. this theft has cause the famine we see today.

      • Chimbwido Warvet says:

        The famine you talk about is in you fu…ng head, mate. There has never been famine in the country and never will be. It is a mirth or illusion you learnt very well from your slave and colonial masters that the black people can not use their brains to farm. Those who know the truth will tell you, it has been the indigenous people of this country who were farming on the so-called white man’s farms while they dinned and wined in big hotels and fine restaurants.

        The farms you talk about were bought illegally from the same guys who had stolen it. It does not make it right even if government gave them a certificate of no present interest to enable a thief to sell land he had stolen in the first place. In any case, the policy and laws of the country change from time to time. And before government, took the land in question, its laws had been changed to enable government to do what it considered was proper in the national interest.

        Get this in your greasy head, the land question in Zimbabwe is not an easy thing as you want the world to believe. It is complex and people should understand the complexities brought about by slavery and colonialism in Zimbabwe. We are in this hellhole because of those who enslaved and colonized us and these countries, especially the United Kingdom should get involved for us to have a lasting solution to the problem. And nobody wants to talk about the negative role played by the United Kingdom in enslaving and colonizing this country and the problems it left behind.

        • Common Sense says:

          No famine? When last did you come back to Zim ans go into the field, you evidently know nothing… Zim has having to import tonnes of maize because we crewed up Agriculture by giving most of the farms to non-farming fools.

          And the farms, how do you know these farms were bought off white farmers that had owned them prior to 1980…. the ones in question (Dutch) were bought from the Government… yo may recall this fact when the audit was done as the farms were being ‘taken’ from 2000 onwards….

          I have every respect for the abilities of the local farmers, the stats prove it, what I have zero respect for is the majority of farms that were ‘re-possessed’ were give to cronies and apologists of ZPF, who do nothing in terms of farming on them, they have them as accumulated wealth.

  3. wilbert_mukori says:

    Some of the countries in the West have been itching to lift the targeted sanctions and give up all efforts to force Mugabe and Zanu PF to accept democratic reforms. They accept a leopard will not lose its spots, especially when they are being nagged to lift the sanctions by the very people they expected to be pushing them to do the exact opposite – SADC and no lesser person than Prime Minister Tsvangirai himself!

    No doubt Mugabe is aware of this and the public admission that he was wrong to seize the farms is meant to be an olive branch to the West.

    It should be noted that Mugabe also announced, within hours of offering this token of peace, that Zanu PF will be pushing for “100% ownership” of Zimbabwe’s resources by black Zimbabweans; he is no longer contend with the 51% ownership. So Mugabe is offering the olive branch in one hand and meanwhile in the other hand he has a snapper rifle hunting the would-be recipient of the olive branch.

    Mugabe seized the white owned farms in violation of the international agreements, Zimbabwe’s own laws and common sense – the seizures were the primary cause of the country’s economic melt-down from which the nation has yet to recover – because he had no choice. He is the leader of a party whose appetite for loot is insatiable; the more the get the more they waste and the greater their demands for more. There are no more white-owned or foreign-owned farms left in Zimbabwe and already there is a deafening chorus from the Zanu PF ruling elite, demands more loot! It is just a matter it is just a matter of when, not if, Mugabe is going to let fly on some white-owned companies caught in his cross-wire!