Fast-track land reform over: Mombeshora

Dr Mombeshora

Dr Mombeshora

Herald Reporter Zvamaida Murwira—
The fast-track land reform programme has run its course with the exhaustion of new farms for acquisition amid indications that further allocations can only be done after the envisaged land audit reveals how much land can be reassigned to new applicants, a Cabinet minister has said. Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora said Government had settled people on over 14 million hectares and the remaining 900 000ha would be kept as a strategic reserve.

“What we are saying is that the land resettlement programme is almost complete. If we are to get additional land, it would only be after the finalisation of an audit because we realise that some people are either not fully utilising the land or have not taken occupation of the land that they got from the Government,” said Minister Mombeshora in an interview.

“We have resettled people on about 14,5 million hectares and the remaining 900 000 is in forests, plantations and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements. That land should be left for strategic reasons,” he said.

Minister Mombeshora said there would be no more resettlement under the fast-track land reform programme launched by the Government more than 15 years ago.

Government, he said, was currently involved in the rationalisation of land occupation after settling hundreds of thousands of people in both small and large-scale farms.

He said the remaining 900 000 hectares of land could be used for relocation should such a need arise.
“As Government, we need to prepare for anything. For example, when diamonds were discovered in Chiadzwa we had to relocate people. If, for example, a dam is to be constructed we again ought to relocate people. This is the reason why we are saying we cannot resettle people on the remaining land,” said Minister Mombeshora.

“We hope to pick up extra land when we do our land audit. We are saying at the moment no more land resettlement, but what we are doing at the moment is rationalisation.”

Meanwhile, our Bulawayo Bureau reports that Minister Mombeshora told farmers gathered in Shangani, Matabeleland South province, at the launch of a new conservation area at Jabula Safari, that those who needed to be resettled would have to wait for the finalisation of the land audit.

“Tough lucky to those who need to be resettled because land is almost exhausted. We, however, hope that when we do the audit we may be able to pick land which is either not being properly used or was gotten for speculative purposes,” said Minister Mombeshora.

He said Government was finalising paperwork to make the land bankable and transferable as part of securitizing it.
“We are looking at the issue of surveying new farms which we have just acquired and last year we recruited 15 more qualified surveyors in addition to the four that we had as well as 17 surveying technicians to be able to do the work,” he said.

“We are working on acquiring GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment so that we do the work faster. In fact the new GPS system is 10 times faster than the old system that we have. Treasury has also agreed to give us money to buy six sets of the GPS and this will speed up the surveying,” said the Minister.

When Government embarked on the fast track land reform programme, there was resistance from sections of the population, in particularly those aligned to the opposition MDC who viewed the programme as an election gimmick.
Of late more people have been making enquiries to the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement after it became clear during the period of the

Inclusive Government that the programme was irreversible.
More than 300 000 families have been resettled under the fast track land reform programme that started in 2 000.

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  • sambiri

    The minister should be embarrassed to say fast track chaotic failed land reform is over. What a pathetic statement. That reform has brought untold suffering as those lands grabbed are lying idle never used. How do you justify that chaotic process Mr Minister?

    • Mabaleka

      What is the relevance of your statement? whether it helped people or not, he simply said its over. Yooh! some people just need to let things go. Years down the line, you still talking about things that already happened. The issue is where from here, not what happened. Like or not, people needed to be resettled, its the way it was done which was an issue, bit its now water under the bridge, don’t cry home about it.

    • gutu chitovah

      ko nhai Chaurura/Sambiri makashaiwa here pakawana vana vevamwe kana kuti maiteverera mwenje wechitaitai? chosiya chakukanda mumihwa ukashaya mabudiro.

    • Vimbai Mutadzwa

      You should be embarrassed to think that The Minister is capable of feeling embarrassed.

    • Ray Mbada

      You seem to be residing in the diaspora and you last visited home during the jambanja days hence ill informed or you read the other newspaper. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • Ruzvidzo

    How many times over the last half dozen years have we heard the same refrain claiming the “successful” land reform is over only to be followed by more land invasions, typically just before harvests are ready, by people with newly discover land offer letters dubiously signed by whoever thinks they can pull the right strings? Meanwhile successive Ministers attempting to renew foreign ties and assure investors over secure property rights have their attempts constantly torpedoed by uncoordinated and contradictory statements issues by irresponsible colleagues, and subordinates who think they can fast track quick bucks by ignoring laws and constitutional rights.
    Foreign donors have provided funds for a comprehensive land audit, let’s see it rapidly completed with transparent unfettered access to results published, exposing all the multiple-farm Zanu-PF big shots hell bent on keeping their unused stolen assets well hidden.

  • Londisizwe

    Only last week another white Zimbabwean farmer who purchased his property after independence was forcibly evicted from his remaining 10% of productive farmland (the other 90% having already been “fast tracked”), by armed police for the benefit of a rich black Zimbabwean couple with new British nationality acquired using the fact of fleeing Zimbabwe chaos in the early 2000s.
    Makes one believe in conspiracy theorists claiming certain Zanu-PF factions who thrive on chaos are determined to destroy all policies seeking to restore global relations to rebuild the economy, and obliterate chances to prove Zimbabwe has even token respect for the rule of law?

    • Francis

      You are pathetic.

      • Zvituko

        The only thing pathetic is your remarkable ignorance.

  • black farmer

    The land distribution programme was a very wonderful idea and its main objective was very good to the people of Zimbabwe. The only problem with it was it was chaotic, heinous, sinister and doggishly implemented. Various people stormed to white owned farms and took over their land,which was good, BUT they didnt have any idea what to do on those farms besides selling off irrigation properties and vandalising the farms. hunting down all wildlife and setting up their huts in a commercial farm. This is why our economy is bad now. WE LACK THAT ONE PERSON WHO CAN SHOW HIS POWER AND TELL EVERYONE WHO IS NOT PRODUCING ANYTHING TO MOVE BACK TO RUZEVA and give real farmers the land. Im sure not everyone can become a lawyer or a doctor, or a judge. One has to be educated first and have the passion to do so. NOT EVERYONE IS A FARMER. Unless we BLACK PEOPLE start accepting our failures, we will never move foward. Never. NOT EVEN ONE PERSON/CHEF has ever been arrested for corruption yet we want things to change. GIVE FARMS TO FARMERS, AND GIVE FARMING JOBS TO THE REST.

    • Rawboy

      Well said.
      Fact is the land reform was never thought through and its repercutions will reverberate for years to come.For one thing,who the heck is going to foot the compensation bill? And to those that say balls to compensation,how the hell do you expect to be trusted? …..This why Zimbabwe is ostracized to those blind enough not to see this.

  • G.Hove

    The land reform programme is a success story and will always be a success story.

    • Just Askin’

      Quite wrong of course, the land reform was and still is an abysmal failure.

      Has production risen or declined since 2000?

      Sadly its the latter, so how can this be deemed a success Mr. Hove?

  • Mwanawevhu Remade

    Personally I welcome the press release as it has informed the nation and Zimbabweans at large that land reform which was fast tracked is over now and adding onto it that Government has also set aside close to a Million hectares as a strategic move to cater for unexpected developments. As it is the norm in our societies Zimbabweans have become so pessimistic and very negative about the issue of land being in the hands of fellow black people. The same former White Farmers owned vast land and they never fully utilised that land which they acquired either as a token from having served in the First World War and some even Second World War which was to no benefit to us the Indigenes of Zimbabwe. Not only were some of our grandparents participants in those wars too. The coming of an expedited programme of Land Reform was revolutionist in tone and implementation and this seats well with those with a value of self realisation and self determination. When our forefathers were moved from these lands was it not in a brutal manner…? Did the British have a right to seize and control our birth right? We are the descendants of Kings who ruled over our Zimbabwe, Kings who were dethroned and taken into slavery by the coloniser, their wealth robbed of them, their women and children raped and maimed, their settlements razed to the ground. Were we compensated for all that (lost dignity, lost wealth, lost lives, lost homes…) we all know the answer to that. For years our land was robbed of its mineral wealth(diamonds, gold, silver etc. ) has all that been repatriated? No. How long did it take for the same colonisers to fully utilise large spans of land they controlled? It has been a tough period for the nation reeling under sanctions and it will take a bit of a while before Agriculture becomes the mainstay of our Economy again as Education and other logistical issues are sorted and put in place so as for that land tenure to become bankable and the new black farmer can walk into a Bank and be granted a loan with no question. As long as the attitude of the Zimbabwean is pessimistic we will not realise success. If when you were going through school (Elementary Education- Ordinary Level at least) am sure one learnt in History, Economics, Geography what trade and multi-national companies are and do. Thence why not applaud Land Reform which will see all the money made from it being ploughed back into our own Economy. It is only ignorance when one believes or thinks the black farmer will not bring the country back to its status as the bread basket of Southern Africa. Patience is a virtue of masters but the slave is hasty to realise results and has no future outlook for he lives for the moment/day. Land Reform will never be reversed and never, never, never

    • Ngwekazi

      Taura zvako. Pamberi ne land reform. Our economy is bad but tichasvika chete. Varungu vaita cloud seeding. Nesu will do it. Hameno zvavo vasina kuwana mhinda busy criticizing the Minister, after land audit go apply. Be on waiting list uchawana chete kana une faith in Jesus Name. Yes hatizosvika kuvarungu coz they had access to loans. And do you know that some of these whites were conducting illegal mining in these farms? Saka ngatiregedzei kungoshora vanhu vatema. Tichasvika chete. I wish the President can keep Dr. Mombeshora, he is a transparent guy. I applaud him for leaving this white farmer in Mat. South. Look for another farm for this CIO guy. The problem with us blacks is we want where there is infrastructure.

    • Kuta Kinte

      Agreed. Zimbabweans have the passion for farming in Africa as a whole and look at all the perceived free space in our urban centres. It Is currently green. The main purpose of the sanctions was to make it very difficult for a black farmer to have the resources so that everyone will criticize the program and again this was designed to make neighboring countries never to think of the Zimbabwean program as a success example. Zimbabwe can never be a colony again. Never, never.

      • bodo_kwete


    • Mandy

      May God bless your heart Brother. Unfortunately its not easy mending the minds of those warped by continual brainwashing by our colonial masters. Those in the negative are the very owners of those farms that were forcibly taken away from their forefathers by the whites. They talk of compensation not forgetting that they are the same who should be compensated for the ill treatment they have suffered all long. Sisters were raped, livestock seized, men and women forced to fight world wars for no benefit. Medicines being tested on blacks daily and no compensation is being talked about. till when is the black man going to wake up and see the light and believe in his black self that he is the master of his destiny? When When When Lord Jesus?

  • Prosper

    @sambiri learn to appreciate. Leave Dr. Mombeshora alone. What do you mean land is lying idle? Didn’t you hear that Cde. Mugabe declared 2016 gore renzara? Dr. Mombeshora na President Mugabe handivo vanonaisa mvura. Mvura inobva kudenga. Seasons have changed. We blacks needed resettlement. We have land and zvichaita chete. Kancane kancane sizafika.

  • Chitambo

    You say “Tough luck” not “Tough lucky…”

  • Mangwende we Chinhoyi

    The audit which was mentioned by the minister should be taken seriously this time around. We cannot have a situation where national resources are expended and the results are not made to give us value.

  • mandevu

    Success in concept but actually a dismal failure in practice. It will take another two generations for something to come from this. Not sure that the country can survive this. And a message from me to ZPF – it is really not necessary to keep trying to kill those you believe oppose you. If you really think you have a democracy here then lets experience it