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Zimbabwe Will Start Compensating White Farmers Whose Farms Were Taken Under President Mugabe

The government is attempting to bring closure to what has remained a divisive issue.

Under the directive of the Zimbabwean government, the Commercial Farmers Union and a selected committee will embark on identifying White farmers who will be compensated for the land they lost under President Robert Mugabe's regime almost two decades ago.


In 1890, in what was then Rhodesia, British colonists seized a considerable amount of fertile agricultural land and throughout their colonial rule, that land largely remained in the hands of White people. However, after Zimbabwe eventually gained independence in 1980, and under the rule of Robert Mugabe, approximately 4500 White farmers were forcefully evicted and their farms redistributed to around 300 000 families.

The land reform process was an attempt to redress the injustices of colonialism and the disenfranchisement of Black Zimbabweans. However, once Zimbabwe, which was once referred to (although disputed) as the "Breadbasket of Africa" for its plentiful production of key crops, began its demise, many faulted the land reform process.

There have been fears that South Africa, which declared last year that it would expropriate land without compensation to redress the wrongs of both colonialism and Apartheid, may follow in Zimbabwe's footsteps if the process is not transparent.

Zimbabwe's Ministries of Finance and Agriculture said the following in a joint statement:

"The registration process and list of farmers should be completed by the end of April 2019, after which the interim advance payments will be paid directly to former farm owners."

According to EWN, the Zimbabwean government, under the leadership of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, have apparently set aside 17.5 million USD to compensate the White farmers who lost their land. After numerous sanctions and ill relations between the country and the West, the Zimbabwean government hopes this will be the first concrete step in mending those relations.

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Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.