Dell’Ariccia told reporters that the funds were the EU’s contribution towards the implementation of a National Land Audit Programme.
A 2008 political agreement between President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF party and rival Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) factions that led to the formation of the country’s power-sharing government calls for a land audit to establish who owns which land in order to eliminate multiple land owners.
The land audit has failed to take off because of a shortage of funds and resistance from senior ZANU PF officials who are multiple farm owners.
Land remains a divisive issue in Zimbabwe after Mugabe over the past decade drove most of the country’s about 4,500 large-scale White landowners off their farms which he went on to parcel out to landless Blacks.
Critics say Mugabe’s cronies – and not ordinary black peasants – benefited the most from the land reforms, with many ending up with up to six farms each against the government’s publicly stated one-man-one-farm policy.
Mugabe has often rejected calls by Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC for a review of the land redistribution programme, saying those behind the calls want to return expropriated farms to their White former owners.