HARARE – Zimbabwe has proposed to settle a US$3.5 bn land compensation deal over 10 years as the most recent modification to an agreement made in 2020 with former white farmers who were evicted from properties more than 20 years ago.
Mthuli Ncube, the finance minister for the African nation, claims that although the country initially planned to grant payment terms of 20 years, it has since decided to expedite the procedure.
The government has repeatedly missed the original agreement’s deadlines for repayment.
On the eve of a meeting in the nation’s capital, Harare, to address its debt, Ncube told reporters on Thursday about latest plans to compensate white farmers.
“We are moving toward the quick payment of former farm owners as most of them are not young. We are now front-loading the payments,” he said.
Zimbabwe white farmers new deal
To attract investors, the compensation will be funded through a Treasury bond that will have prescribed-asset status and be exempt from all taxes.
Farmers will vote on the problem in the near future, and after any outstanding details are resolved, the bond will be issued.
The impasse was one of three major concerns cited by creditors as a barrier to figuring out how to handle the country’s US$14 billion in liabilities on Thursday.
The debt talks were launched by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who encouraged consensus on how to resolve the issue because it “weighs heavily” on the nation’s development efforts.
Since the 2000s, multilateral financiers such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank, AfDB, and Paris Club have prohibited Zimbabwe from obtaining new credit lines after it fell behind on payments.
Due to the shortage of essential goods, the over 200 percent inflation rate, and the currency crisis, internal resources are now being used to help meet financial requirements.
Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka stated that the government has no intention of using property as a means of resolving disputes with the farmers.