By A Correspondent- Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) legislator Allan Norman Markham has insisted that the US$3.5 billion compensation agreement between government and white former commercial farmers should be made public so that Zimbabweans know what is going on.
The Harare North member of parliament was expressing concern in Parliament last week after being given a 3-page summary of the document by the Ministry of Finance.
Government signed the agreement with representatives of white former commercial farmers in 2020 with President Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the time, saying the deal was a significant step towards bringing closure to the land reform programme.
Last week, Markham pressed Finance Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube for the full document but the treasury chief pleaded confidentiality.
“On the Global Settlement Deed, it was my intention to give him a three page summary and here are my reasons,” said Professor Ncube.
“This is still a document signed under restricted conditions of confidentiality. It only becomes public when they have signed the cessation and when we are ready to pay, then it comes before this House for approval and I will table it before this House for approval properly.
“For now, it is still in abeyance as a negotiation document. We have no wish to release it and if I do, then I am violating the agreement with the farmers, they will be very upset.”
Markham insisted however, that the agreement should be put before Parliament in full.
“We, as a House, need to know what is happening and what we are tying ourselves to for the future. I do not accept any confidential agreement on a loan that I have paid taxes to,” he said.