GOVERNMENT will soon unveil three land tenure systems under which former commercial farmland acquired for resettlement will be administered, the Zimbabwe Independent heard this week.
Officials in the Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement mini
stry said beneficiaries of land reform would be given security of tenure on 99-year leases, 25-year leases and use permits.
Issuing of the three types of tenures is expected to start within the next six months.
“All land classified as A1 model scheme will be governed by permits,” an official said. “The permits will operate along the same lines as the communal area type of customary tenure.”
The official said all conservancies, trophy hunting safaris and game reserves would be governed by statutory tenure in the form of 25-year leases.
“A contractual licence will be issued by the state under the provisions of some enabling regulations,” the official said.
He said all land classified under A2, or large scale-commercial, would be governed by a 99-year lease.
A copy of the 99-year lease agreement in the hands of the Independent indicates that A2 farmers would be charged rentals for land they lease from government.
New land beneficiaries will have to go through a rigorous vetting exercise and be required to produce a convincing five-year development plan and a production plan for a similar period before they are allowed to lease state land.
The new requirement could result in non-performing land grabbers being booted out of the farms they currently occupy.
Government has been agonising over underutilised land seized from white farmers for years. Some of the beneficiaries acquired large tracts of land as status symbols or “weekend braai spots” which they have not been able to put to full production, spawning food shortages currently being experienced.
In addition to paying annual rentals, the farmers will be required to pay all levies, fees and charges as may be determined by rural district councils.
The new farmers are required to submit a five-year development plan and another five-year production plan to the relevant planning authority for approval before signing the lease.
“The development plan should include provision of access roads suitably sited, constructed and protected against erosion as approved by the principal director responsible for Lands and Rural Resettlement,” the document says.