Compensation for former white farmers is the best strategy to plough back investors confidence

Today black people in Zimbabwe do not bank their money why – because they have lost trust in the banking system

By Mehluli Matshakaile

Zimbabwe gained its independence after a protracted war with the Ian Smith regimes which lasted for years with heavy casualties on both sides.

It was not easy but something had to be done because the toll on the war was becoming a burden on Britain and its allies.

The support for Ian Smith regime was now heavy to beer, the casualties were huge to bear. A way has to be found one way or the other.

Hence the liberation movements in Zanu and Zapu were forced to seat on the table with the Ian Smith regime and others. ( Ref the Lanchester House Conference 1979)

The talks paved way for the first democratic elections in Zimbabwe which ushered in Cde Robert Gabriel Mugabe of Zanu as the first Prime Minister of Zimbabwe with Cde Joshua N Nkomo of Zapu as the leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe.

Fast forward to 1990.

Lanchester House Agreement

According to the 1979 Lanchester House agreement 1990 was supposed to be the year land question to be implemented. It never happened or it was delayed, lot of reasons were sighted but the truth is it never happened it was never ownered.

The reasons;

1.The AU and SADC was of the view that the land reform in Zimbabwe could frighten the South African apartheid government in negotiating with the exiled African National Congress and the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

2.Britain due to change of political parties in government sow the incumbent refusing to owner the agreement struck under the Margaret Thatcher’s government. Was it fare, I do not know.

By the late 90s economic situation in Zimbabwe had reached another level due to the structural adjustment programme forced on to Zimbabwe by the World Bank and the IMF.

Frustrations from the urban vote was growing day by day, discomfort with the ruling Zanu PF was growing but there was no alternative to Zanu PF at the time.


One will ask was Britain aware that by such time the masses will have moved away from Zanu PF to any political party, so Zanu PF was setup for failure by Britain.

The formation of the MDC and the 1999 referendum was a turning point for Zimbabwe an alternative to the ruling Zanu PF party was born and it could not be ignored like other parties in the past.

A rural vote is a vote no part in Africa should want to lose as it formed the backbone to the liberation struggle. This was no exception to Zanu PF.

A rural vote is important a rural vote should not be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy in this case MDC and Britain.

MDC miscalculated the rural vote and they continue to miscalculate it hence their ascendance to the presidium will be very difficult if not impossible.

The dynamics in the country had pushed Zanu PF in the corner to such an extent that they had no choice but to succumb to the needs of the war veterans and the rural vote hence the chaotic land reform of 2000, it was bound to happen as Britain had proved to be dishonest.

Kith and kin

The MDC together with the help displaced white farmers and support from Britain gained the urban vote which mostly relied on working for survival.

Zanu PF was left with the most important vote in the country the rural vote. These are the real Zimbabweans who contributed immensely to the liberation of Zimbabwe.

These are the people who defeated the Rhodesian army to liberate Zimbabwe from the clutches of colonial rule.

These are the people again who will determine who should rule in Zimbabwe. Ignore the rural vote at your expense.

Defeated for the second time Britain with the help of MDC and displaced white farmers had no choice but to lobby the US and Europe to impose punitive action on Zimbabwe in the form of sanctions.

The request received attention with the USA government.

Allow me to say the USA acted on the government of Zimbabwe to protect white farmers, the Kith and Kin of British origin in Zimbabwe hence ZIDERA was specially designed to deal with the black government of Zimbabwe.

To me ZIDERA is like the apartheid system in South Africa which was designed to deal with the black majority. Yes, the MDC might celebrate sanctions, but they have caused an untold suffering on the black masses of Zimbabwe whom some they claim to be representing.

America and Europe do not care about human rights in Africa will never care in their lifetime.

Fast forward.

2013 MDC T after a split was part to the Unity government which drafted the current constitution in Zimbabwe. Under section 296 of the constitution of Zimbabwe, farmers under BIPPAS and indigenous farmers, must be compensated for land taken over for resettlement.

In March 2020 the government released regulations to allow for this sort of compensation. SI 62 of 2020 gave effect.

What bungles my mind is when those advocating for rule of law and constitutional democracy are the ones opposing the compensation of white, then I ask myself are they for real or are seeking a regime change in Zimbabwe, with the land reform in its current sate as a trump card to the presidium.


The stance of the MDC Alliance the ever-changing chameleon leaves a lot to be desired.

A lot of people in and outside Zimbabwe have entered the fray, EFF of South Africa is no exception. It’s on record that South Africa is intending to amend section 25 of the constitution to allow expropriation of land without compensation.

The mistake they are making is to use Zimbabwe as a case study in solving their land questions not acknowledging that Zimbabwe and South Africatwo totally different countries despite the fact that they share borders.

The noise from the EFF in South Africa should not be taken serious by the government of Zimbabwe as its intention is not to alleviate the untold 20 years of suffering by the Zimbabwean black majority, it only serves the political mileage of the EFF and those who are funding them.

Media coverage

The 3.5 billion dollars agreement between the Zimbabwean Government and former white Zimbabwean farmers has received very little coverage from the mainstream media in South Africa and the world, what has received extensive media coverage are the staged managed abduction of the MDC A members and their sympathizers which none of the media houses can prove.

To be honest the Zimbabwean government can not stoop so low to do such a thing given the fact that all eyes are on Zimbabwean.

The government con not jeopardize the re-engagement with the international world with such patty issues.

For sure the Zimbabwean government intelligent agencies are smarter than what is being reported on by the international media which they call hard core evidence.

I edge the MDC A to try a better strategy to send their message across the world if they need to survive in the political space in Zimbabwe or else it will die a natural death when the truth surfaces as lies have short legs.

It’s on record the position of the MDC A on the economic management by Mnangagwa`s government which they claim have no clue in fixing the economy.

One thing they forget is that they are part and parcel of the economic problems in Zimbabwe which if they keen to solve should participate in finding a last solution.

Bilateral agreement

The land reform programme of 2000 is why we are here and it cannot be reversed.

The land reform programme brought in sanctions which they and its allies were part to mobilizing the world to isolate Zimbabwe economically.

We might differ in the way we wish to address issues in a society but what the government is doing currently is the right step in the right direction in finding a lasting solution to the economic problems affecting Zimbabwe.

Compensation of former white farmers under the bilateral agreement is the best solution to bring back business trust from the international community. We might say a lot of things but trust and honest is key in business.

Today black people in Zimbabwe do not bank their money why, because they have lost trust in the banking system, and that is exactly what needs to be fixed to bring back trust in Zimbabwean system.

The biblical Goliath was defeated by the little unknown David,together Zimbabwe shall prosper again.


Mehluli Matshakaile is a businessman. He writes for The Sunday Express in his personal capacity.



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