Zimbabwe will issue 99-year leases to white farmers, according to a government circular, after new President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he would end discrimination along racial lines in agriculture.
Fewer than 400 white farmers are still operating in the southern African nation, after former president Robert Mugabe’s government evicted more than 4,000 under an often violent land reform program.
Those who remained were issued with five-year renewable leases by the state compared to 99-year leases for black farmers, leaving their land vulnerable to expropriation by the government.
The agriculture ministry circular to staff, seen by Reuters, says white farmers should now be issued the same 99-year leases as black farmers.
“Please be informed that the minister of Lands, Agriculture and Resettlement has directed that all remaining white farmers be issued 99-year leases instead of the 5-year leases as per the previous arrangement,” said the circular, dated Jan. 19. (Read more from “Zimbabwe to Give White Farmers 99-Year Leases, like Black Counterparts” HERE)