Zim ex-VP Mujuru offers to compensate former white farm owner

Cape Town - Zimbabwe's former deputy president, now leader of the opposition Zimbabwe Peoples First (ZimPF) party, Joice Mujuru, has reportedly offered to compensate the former owner of her Alamein Farm, also known as Ruzambo Farm.

The farm is situated about 72km outside of Harare.

According to NewsDay, Mujuru met with the former farm owner Guy Watson-Smith at a London hotel on Thursday where they discussed modalities for compensation. 

Reports indicated that Watson-Smith was demanding $1. 47m for infrastructure developments.

Mujuru inherited the farm from her late husband former general Solomon Mujuru, who obtained it during the height of the country's land reform programme at the beginning of the century, the report said.  

President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in 2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

Reports said that at least 4000 white farmers were evicted from their farms.

Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, ZimPF spokesperson Jealousy Mawarire confirmed the meeting between Mujuru and Watson-Smith.

Mawarire said that the two had a "pleasant meeting".

He said that Mujuru's gesture symbolised her party's respect for property rights.

"The issue is about the symbolism. Even if she pays from her coffers, the message she is sending is that a Zimbabwe People First government will deal with the issue of compensation and ensure security of tenure," Mawarire was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, according to the Voice of America Mujuru said that the land in the southern African country belonged to everyone.

She was expected to address an audience at the Chatham house on the current situation in Zimbabwe.

The party’s spokesperson was also quoted saying that Mujuru’s thrust was to "reboot the agriculture sector by monetising the land".



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