(Bloomberg) -- About 1,300 White Zimbabwean commercial farmers, whose land was seized in the early 2000s, have signed up to receive compensation and those who qualify will be paid in 10-year treasury bills, a government official said. 

“We now have to go through the process of vetting them and confirming the amounts that they are owed,” Andrew Bvumbe, head of debt management in the Ministry of Finance, said in an interview on Friday. “With these 1,300, we want to move as quickly as possible. Maybe by the end of the third quarter of this year we want to get this out of the way.”

Under an accord signed in 2020, the government agreed to compensate 4,000 White farmers whose land was seized by state-backed militants, but it has repeatedly missed payment deadlines. It expects the compensation deal will cost it $3.5 billion over 10 years.  

Read More: Zimbabwe Offers New Terms for $3.5 Billion White-Farmer Deal

Payouts will be made for improvements that were made to farms, rather than the land itself, Bvumbe said. 

“If others start seeing that we are acting, maybe the others will start coming in and they all be part of the whole process,” he said. 

--With assistance from Desmond Kumbuka.

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