Dutch farmers want Zimbabwe to pay them compensation. White farmers were forced off their land during from 2000 to 2002 when the land grabbing started in all earnest.
Radio Netherlands reported on Wednesday that the farmers took their case to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), a Washington-based court which operates under the aegis of the World Bank.
Earlier this year, Zimbabwe finance minister Tendai Biti promised payment but has not held his promise, despite a letter from the Dutch foreign minister in August asking him to honour his word.
The ICSID already ruled in favour of the Dutch in 2009 and ordered Zimbabwe to pay up €8.8m in compensation, to be increased by 10% for each year since the illegal anti-white “reforms”.
According to the report, the group is now entitled to a sum of more than €23m and the Dutch government has been pressuring Zimbabwe over the past two years to fulfil its international obligations. A special envoy has been appointed to negotiate with Zimbabwean officials.
“We wanted to take action earlier, but decided to wait for Biti’s proposal,” the group’s chairperson Lion Benjamins was quoted as saying. “But now we’re sick of waiting, so we have decided to take steps to show Zimbabwe we’re serious.”
The group lobbying European parliamentarians in an attempt to ensure the EU refuses to lift its sanctions on Zimbabwe until the compensation is paid. They are also lobbying the British government to release frozen assets of the Robert Mugabe regime in order to foot the land grab bill.