MDC pledges land reform audit

Staff Writer

THE opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) plans to establish a Land Commission to audit the ongoing chaos surrounding President Robert Mugabe’s agrarian reform as soon as it gets into

power.


The MDC revealed at its annual conference held in Harare recently that as soon as it replaces the Mugabe regime, it will seek to address the anarchy created by the violent seizure of white-owned farms in the name of agrarian reform.


The opposition has compiled a draft plan through which it will address the myriad crises crippling the country. Titled From crisis to democratic human-centred development, the document emphasises the urgency of implementing corrective measures on the land issue.


“The MDC will establish, by an Act of parliament, an impartial, independent and well-sourced professional agency, known as the Land Commission.

“This will be vested with the powers and authority to fulfil its role of formulating, planning and coordinating an all-inclusive and well-crafted resettlement programme and agrarian reform programme, with a limited life span,” the draft plan says.


A draft Bill has already been compiled, the MDC said.


“The Land Commission Bill has been drafted and its terms will be subject to stakeholder scrutiny before being submitted to parliament.”


An independent land audit to establish the ownership of land resulting from the chaotic programme being implemented by the Zanu PF leadership is envisaged by the MDC to be a major stepping stone in its quest to create sanity on the land issue.


“The commission’s first major task shall be to establish the physical and legal status of all land holdings by carrying out an independent land audit.

The physical component of the land audit will include information such as the farm’s location, name, size, legal status, as well as on-farm data, details of Model A1 and A2 occupation, occupiers and where they came from.


“The legal component will consist of an analysis of the constitutionality and legality of measures taken, as well as ground realities, to clarify the legal status of farmers, settlers, and the land they occupy,” the party said.


The opposition seeks to transform agriculture in the rural sector to ensure commitment by rural landholders. The MDC proposes in its draft the establishment of security of tenure.


“Farm investment and productivity is to be encouraged by improving the security of tenure for all Zimbabwean farmers. This will be achieved by maintain-ing freehold tenure where it exists, and offering resettlement and small-scale farmers long-term leases with options for title,” the MDC said.

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