Hard Blow : Deal reminds Britain of Lancaster agreement on land compensation

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If ever Britain thought the power sharing deal would drop the land issue, then it has more in store.

Details of the deal show that the three principals are saying Britain should own up and compensate farmers who lost their land during the country’s land reform process.

It has been proposed that the parties try to secure international finance to pay compensation to farmers.

Mugabe would relinquish some of his powers to rivals he brands stooges of the West.

The 30 page document says Britain should compensate those whose lands were taken, describing the seizure of thousands of white-owned farms as irreversible.

“The parties hereby call upon the United Kingdom government to accept the primary responsibility to pay compensation for land acquired from former landowners for resettlement,” the agreement stated.

It also says that every Zimbabwean who is eligible for to have land should be allocated and those who apply for it shall be considered for allocation of land irrespective of race, gender, religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.

They said that the primary objective of the liberation struggle was to win one man one vote democracy and justice.

So the land question, namely the need for the re-distribution of land to the majority indigenous people of Zimbabwe was at the core of the liberation struggle.

Mugabe’s government began seizing white-owned commercial farms in 2000 to distribute to blacks, a policy critics say ruined the agriculture sector.

Mugabe’s government has in the past accused Britain of reneging on an agreement to compensate farmers who lost their land during reforms.

Another “comprehensive, transparent and non-partisan” land audit has been suggested.

The European Union has said it is taking a wait-and-see attitude to Zimbabwe’s new power-sharing deal, leaving its sanctions unchanged but ready to reconsider them next month.

Said EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Monday, “The sanctions for the moment will not be changed today, the decision will be probably taken in October.


The former British Prime Minister, Magaret Thatcher, agreed to provide the funds for the compensation as a condition of Mr. Mugabe signing the Lancaster House agreement, which ended the biracial rule and finalised Zimbabwe’s independence, 28 years ago.

However, that agreement was abandoned when the Blair government came to power… It had made it clear that Zimbabwe was under no obligation whatsoever to compensate the white farmers whilst resettling the landless Africans.

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