- Accord marks turning point in dispute over farm invasions
- President says ‘historic’ deal shows respect for rule of law
Zimbabwe’s government signed a $3.5 billion deal to compensate White commercial farmers who were evicted from their land two decades ago.
The agreement is a turning point in a dispute that tipped the southern African nation’s economy into freefall by slashing food production and export income, and incurred sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union.
“Today marks a huge milestone,” Andrew Pascoe, president of the Commercial Farmers Union that represents the White farmers, said Wednesday at a signing ceremony in the capital, Harare. “As Zimbabweans, we have chosen to resolve this long-outstanding issue.”
It’s unclear how the compensation will be funded at a time when Zimbabwe is in the midst of an economic crisis. The country is battling inflation of more than 700%, besides dealing with shortages of currency, fuel and food, and more than 90% of the population out of formal employment.