Agriculture

Govt publishes names of all people given farms

Zimbabwe next week publishes the list of all the people that were given land since 2017 including those who were given farms by the late Minister of Lands Perrance Shiri and those who got land under the current Minister Anxious Masuka.

Masuka announced this in Parliament yesterday in answer to questions from legislators who wanted the minister to clarify the status of the country’s land reform programme.

Masuka said the list was almost ready and he would release it to Parliament next week.

He said his ministry was inundated with applications for land and was currently sitting on 250 000 applications yet 99% of the land had already been allocated.

“All the farms that are available have been given.  One may move around and see an unsettled farm but invariably on our records, that farm would have been offered to someone,” he said.

“So on our database it will appear as if it is occupied to an extent, because there is no additional land that is available to give to people, we now have gone back to look at re-distributing that which we have given to others already.

“We have formulated from a policy perspective, four categories of how we are going to guide the Provincial Lands Committees and the District Lands Committees to identify such land.  The first category is that of multiple farm owners and that we are identifying.  The Provincial Lands Committees and District Lands Committees will then look at those that are on their waiting lists and allocate.

“The second category we indicated is for abandoned farms.  The third category is underutilized farms and the fourth is that of derelict farms.

“There is no guarantee that if someone applies for land today, they will then think that two months, a year or ten years down the line they can get something.

“We have people on the waiting list that have been there in some areas since 2002 because we have 250 000 applications for land where 99% of the land has been allocated but has only been given to 20 000.

“Therefore, it is impossible to accommodate the 250 000 applications and the many that we receive every day for land.  This is the reality,” he said.

President Mnangagwa previously said that the government would also embark on a downsizing programme that would enable more people to get land.

“Those that have multiple farms, we are going to repossess that land and redistribute it. We have started doing so. We are also going to be downsizing farms that exceed the recommended sizes. We want fairness in the distribution of land. We want our farmers to be productive,” he said.

Thousands of white commercial farmers and their employees were displaced and left without sources of income during the fast-tracked agrarian reforms that were masterminded by ex-president Robert Mugabe’s administration in 2000.

According to the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union, more than 4000 white farmers were affected by the often violent farm invasions.

Some of the white farmers that were kicked out of their properties during the agrarian reforms have now set base in neighbouring countries such as Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia. 

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