Zimbabwe: Lands Committee to Downsize Farms

Mashonaland Central’s Mazowe District lands committee yesterday resolved to identity large and underutilised farms for redistribution.

This follows an address by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in Mvuma recently where he said big farms should be downsized to enable more people to benefit from land redistribution.

Some of the farms include the 205-hectare Elephant Trust Farm underutilisation, 1 800 hectare Chadsley Farm and Protea Farm, which has 1 061 hectares.

Speaking at the lands committee meeting at Mazowe Rural District Council last week, the district lands officer Mr Mark Kadaira said Chief Makope, Chief Nembire and Member of Parliament for Mazowe South Cde Fortune Chasi, among other people, did not have farms.

He added that rampant squatting, which was rife in the area, would only be addressed through redistribution of land.

“There is an issue of illegal settlers at Jumbo Mine and we need to find alternative land for those people,” said Mr Kadaira. “We are hopeful that through the downsizing of farms exercise, we will get adequate land to relocate people at Manzou Farm and give them a hectare each.

“In 2002 and 2004, A2 farmers were given land without offer letters; we want them to get the letters.”

Chairperson of the provincial lands committee and Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Advocate Martin Dinha said district lands committees, which were disbanded were crucial and had started functioning.

“District lands committees were no longer functional due to lack of cooperation from the relevant ministry,” he said. “Under the new dispensation of President Mnangagwa and the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Retired Air Chief Marshal Perrance Shiri, they now meet every week to deal with land issues.

“We want an audit on all the land distributed last year. The issues here are that people were given offer letters for already occupied land, people were resettled around dams.

“Correct those mistakes and we want a progress report. We want a proper land allocation process. We want the list of farms you want to downsize, you heard what the President said in Mvuma.

“We will downsize to below 450 hectares and also according to the production record of the farmer. This is the last phase of the land reform programme, we want to get to the production stage and we cannot continue allocating land.”

A Namibian based investor Mr Fungai Mushangwe approached the committee with a cattle ranching proposal.

“I am here to support command livestock and I want to import Boer goats and other cattle breeds to support other farmers,” he said.

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