According to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe will not return the land seized from white farmers 18 years ago.
Speaking to supporters of the ruling party, Zanu-PF, on Saturday, Mnangagwa said, “It will never happen”.
Mnangagwa’s statement has dashed the hopes of many white farmers who hoped that they might be able to return to their stolen land.
In December 2017, white farmer, Rob Smart, was able to return to his farm after Mnangagwa heard of his violent eviction while at a conference in Johannesburg, and returned his land to him.
Mnangagwa also previously vowed to stop illegal land seizures and to restore property rights, leading many to believe that all evicted white farmers would be compensated.
In 2000, Zimbabwe began a violent land reform programme which saw thousands of white farmers forced off their land by angry mobs.
The land was redistributed to landless black farmers, which former president Robert Mugabe said was to compensate for oppression under British colonial rule.
Critics have blamed this land reform for the collapse of Zimbabwe’s agricultural production.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Lands, Agriculture and resettlement has announced that all remaining white farmers will be issued with 99-year-leases, instead of five years, as previously.