Zanu PF bigwigs risk losing land

SENIOR Zanu PF and government officials whose farms are lying idle risk losing the large tracts of land they got under the chaotic land reform programme as the state prepares for a land audit scheduled for next year.

Staff Writer

In an interview, Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora said government will either downsize or take back land being underutilised.

He said government will appoint independent auditors to carry out the land audit which will involve visits to each and every farm.

The audit, if conducted as transparently as planned, is expected to flash out senior Zanu PF and government officials who are multiple farm owners in violation of government’s one-person-one-farm policy.

Mombeshora said: “The proper land audit which has not started will mean farm-to-farm visits. There will be verification to see the real owner. Some people were given farms but abandoned them.
“People will go to these farms and we want to see whoever is there and take their details. We will record which plot is occupied, which one is not. What are you planting, the number of crops, animals? We want to see production. If you are not farming we want to understand why. We want to establish those using the farms properly and those not.”

The minister also said he had the power to withdraw offer letters given to people underutilising the farms.

“Already I have downsized some farms. If you are doing nothing, we will take it (land) and if you are subletting we will also take it. We have already done that in Makonde, Zvimba and we are planning to do that in Mashonaland Central,’ said Mombeshora.

In January, Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy minister Responsible for Crops and Mechanisation, Davis Marapira was quoted by the state media as saying about 20 Arda farms are lying idle with only Chisumbanje viable.

Kintyre Estates, a leading dairy producer which used to supply up to 100 000 litres of milk per month, is another example of a farm now lying idle after a failed ambitious project to turn the farm into commercial and housing plots.

In addition to the money being provided by the European Union, United Nations Development Programme and World Bank, Mombeshora said the rest of the money would be raised internally from the farmers.

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8 Responses to Zanu PF bigwigs risk losing land

  1. Sekuru Chakuchichi Botaremhunga June 20, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    We will wait and see if this audit will ever take place in a country called Zimbabwe.

    • BeckyDMichael June 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

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  2. Peter Mahlamvana June 20, 2014 at 4:14 pm #

    I think a much cheaper way can be done to ensure that farms are productive. For most Zimbabweans it really does not matter who got what farm, what is important is for the ill-gotten farms to be fully utilised This should be the main focus of government rather than the audit which we all know will not yield anything.

    Just tax the farm owners: If why farmers were contributing $10million through tax to treasury let us expect the same from the farmers . If they cant stand the heat they give us the land or part of the land to those ready to work. It cant be right that we are buying food from((from Zambia and Malawi) the very white farmers we threw out

  3. Just saying June 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

    Doesn’t make sense to give notice of the audit which is only to be done next year. Smallholding occupiers can easily do something to give the impression it is being utilised. Will the results be respected by the larger farm occupiers and who will enforce it as land is a political matter. I am not holding my breath!

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  5. Wilbert Mukori June 28, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    The regime seized the white owned farms out of greed there was no economic justifica-tion for the seizures. After spending billions of dollars in subsidies to these these mobile phone farmers and with the economy now in totally meltdown the regime has finally ac-cepted that their agrarian experiment was a disaster.

    The irony is the regime is taking away the farms from these cronies at a time when they have nothing left and have no prospect of getting another job! Since 2000 Mugabe has dished out former white-owned farm like confetti at a wedding to boost his own political support. Now that his political fortunes have improved considerable thanks to the breath-taking incompetence of Tsvangirai and MDC he now wants to take the farms back.

    Most of these failed farmers have nothing left in this world other than the allocated farm. Yes, they have failed to fully utilise the farm but at least they management to produce enough for their own family needs plus a little extra for sell. Taking the farm away from them will mean starting afresh in their traditional rural homes where millions live in abject poverty. Some comeback!

    So the seized farms were bait and now Mugabe got what he wanted he is throwing all those who have been foolish enough to swallow the bait, hook and sinker economically worse off now than they were in 2000 before their greed had the better of them. Every-one should have realised that Mugabe was only using them and would discard them as he has discarded everyone else sooner or later.
    Nathan Shamuyarira, a grandee of Zanu PF, died a pauper. These party loyalist were no grandees and it is naïve for them to think they would somehow escape poverty the dis-ease that has afflicted millions of Zimbabweans including grandees like Shamuyarira!

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