An empty piece of land in Zimbabwe (file photo)
By Felex Share
The Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State Land in and around urban areas since 2005 begins work on Monday as Government moves to investigate and ascertain actors in allocations, occupation and use of the land.
The Commission, chaired by Justice Tendai Uchena, will conduct the inquiry over the next 12 months.
The appointment of the Commission followed the mushrooming of illegal settlements in most urban areas, most of which were established from the illegal sale of State land by land barons.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Mrs Virginia Mabiza, who is secretary to the Commission of Inquiry confirmed public hearings would begin on Monday.
“Following the promulgation by His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa of Statutory Instrument 11 of 2018 amending Statutory Instrument 102 of 2017 which established a Commission of Inquiry into the sale of State Land in and around urban areas since 2005, the President on the 1st of February 2018 and in terms of Section 2 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act (Chapter 10:07) swore in a six-member Commission of Inquiry to inquire into the sale of State Land in and around urban areas since 2005,” she said in a statement.
“Pursuant to the swearing in of the Commission of Inquiry, the inaugural meeting of the Commission of Inquiry held on Thursday 8 February 2018 resolved that the Commission officially starts hearing from 19 February 2018.”
Mrs Mabiza added: “The Commission of Inquiry will be held for a period of 12 months from the date of swearing in of the Commissioners and shall among other functions conduct visitations, conduct hearings after summoning witnesses and record proceedings and minute testimonies where necessary. Accordingly, the Commission kindly requests maximum possible cooperation from the Zimbabwean public and institutions during the period which the Commission will be undertaking its business.”
Other members of the Commission are Mr Andrew Mlalazi, Mr Stephen Chakaipa, Dr Tarisai Mutangi, Dr Heather Chingono, Ms Vimbai Nyemba and Ms Petronella Musarurwa,
The mushrooming of illegal settlements has led to demolitions of residential structures prejudicing ordinary people of their hard earned money.
Most of the settlements do not have water and sewer reticulation and other infrastructure such as roads, electricity, schools and clinics.
After completing its inquiry, the Commission of Inquiry is expected to come up with a comprehensive report and present it to the President.
The Commission’s terms of reference shall be:
(i) To investigate and identify all State land in and around urban areas that was acquired and allocated to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for urban development since 2005;
(ii) To investigate and ascertain the status of such land in terms of ownership, occupation and development; (c) to investigate methods of acquisition and/or allocation by current occupants and owners of such land;
(iii) To investigate and ascertain the actors involved in allocations, occupation and use of such land;
(v) To conduct visitations where necessary, summon witnesses, record proceedings, minute testimonies and document, consider and manage all information gathered in order to arrive at appropriate findings and recommendations to the President;
(vi) To investigate any other matter, which the Commission of Inquiry may deem appropriate and relevant to the inquiry; to report to the President in writing, the result of the inquiry.
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