By Nobleman RunyangaLast week, Government announced the commencement of the process of identifying and registering the white former farmers, who lost land during the land reform programme, in an exercise which is being coordinated by the Commercial Farmers Union (CFU) and the Compensation Steering Committee (CSC).
This is part of the activities which Government has set in motion to compensate the white former commercial farmers in line with the Constitution as it moves to bring closure to emotive legacy issues which continue to divide the nation. The process has, however, not been without animated discourse around it as various stakeholders seek to contribute or influence the matter in the direction of their own interests.
Four groups of interested people have emerged so far. The first is that of local people who believe that colonialists, from whom the majority of white former farmers descend, did not bring any land from Europe and, therefore, do not deserve any compensation.
Latched onto this group as a sub-group is that of foreign people who have been watching how Zimbabwe has been handling her land reform programme with the view to learn from her mistakes. This sub-group includes people such as the South African opposition leader, Julius Malema, who galvanised black South Africans to support land expropriation without compensation in that country.
Malema obviously feels that Zimbabwe's planned compensation will make it difficult for South Africa to carry out its land reform without its own white farmers referring to Zimbabwe's compensation project.