Under former president Robert Mugabe, authorities carried out often violent seizures of white-owned farms in a bid to address what they called injustices during British colonial rule.
But new President Emmerson Mnangagwa – keen to boost the economy and mend ties with countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe – has said he wants to end discrimination between black and white farmers and is working to compensate those who lost their properties.
Britain’s Minister of State for Africa, Harriet Baldwin, said she discussed the land issue with Mnangagwa in Harare on Friday.
“Obviously the UK government very much welcomes the statements that have been made about land reform by the government of Zimbabwe and we support a transparent and fair and mediated process around that,” Baldwin told reporters.
“It’s also something which is very important as a signal to international investors and so it’s important and we welcome the fact that the president has made a commitment in terms of continuing with that process.”
Zimbabwe sees mending relations with former colonial ruler Britain as a critical step towards re-establishing ties with the West and international financial institutions.
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