Land allocated to 10-year-olds

Minister Mombeshora

Minister Mombeshora

Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Government has unearthed irregularities in the allocation of farms during the land reform programme, as it emerged that some children as young as 10 years of age benefited from the programme.
It has also been noted that the land reform programme was marred with double allocation of farms due to a mix up of names.

Lands and Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora told The Herald yesterday that a preliminary audit on the database of the beneficiaries done by his ministry revealed that some undeserving people benefited.

He said a comprehensive audit to uproot the irregularities was on cards and it required US$35 million.

“What we have been doing is to take a batch of ID numbers to the Office of the Registrar-General for them to give us details of the beneficiaries, including the date of birth to cross-check with what we have in our database,” said Minister Mombeshora.

“We are also discovering a number of anomalies. You know our policy, we do not give somebody land who is less than 21 years, but we are getting people with 10 years, 12 years, owning plots and that could explain why some plots are vacant.

“Some people acquired farms on behalf of their children and used the correct ID numbers, but lied on the dates of birth.”

Minister Mombeshora said they took the ID numbers to the Registrar Generals Office because Government used them to generate offer letters.

In light of that, Minister Mombeshora said, Government would repossess the land that was acquired fraudulently.

In some cases, he said, the ministry was given wrong names of farms resulting in double allocation.

“We want to go and verify that information when we do the audit to say which farm was sub-divided, what are the correct details of the farms and get the correct names as was on the title deeds and verifying with what we have used in the ministry because we have seen some errors and those errors have caused problems of double allocation,” he said.

Minister Mombeshora said once one made a mistake in the spelling of the name of a farm, the computer would pick that as a different farm and it would be allocated to another person.

On subletting of farms, Minister Mombeshora said such practices were illegal although Government tolerated approved joint venture agreements.

“Sub-leasing is not allowed at all,” he said. “We allow joint ventures and contract farming.”

Minister Mombeshora said the contract farming arrangement involved provision of inputs by a contractor to a farmer and in turn the farmer would sell the produce to the contractor at market rates after deduction of production costs.

He said joint ventures should be done with the approval of Government to safeguard farmers from any form of prejudice.

Minister Mombeshora said he would soon present a proposal to Cabinet and the Zanu-PF Politburo seeking to rent out State land.

“We are making proposals for land rentals saying you cannot use State land for free,” he said. “We use that money to do the inspections, the evaluations and also to do the audits. If we have done our maths correctly we will be able to raise $22 million per year.

“We have asked Treasury to allow us to retain 60 percent of that money.”

There have been concerns over underutilisation of land and leasing of farms, resulting in some discrediting Government’s noble programme.

Allegations of multiple farm ownership have been raised and the Government is in the process of fishing out those who received more than one farm.

After the land reform programme in 2000, Government conducted a land audit led by former Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Charles Utete which recommended that the National Land Board be empowered to ensure that land allocated to the people was fully utilised.

The Utete Report further recommended that failure over a defined period to use the land productively, especially in regard to the A2 model should result in cancellation of leases, and the re-allocation of the land to those willing and able to make use of it.


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  • Judas Iscariot

    Kikikiki and this is the model we are trying to take to SADAC

    • masvukupete

      Taura hako Judie. kikikikikikikii for sure. Mukadota was a lot less funnier than these people we call Zanu.

  • Dzakabvuraudzwa

    It was chaotic anyway

    • cde

      Please lets be serious on these thieves; a good type of punishment for being not honest, who ever did that shld face the law and lose both or all farms, l know some with more than 6 Farms.The whole family and Girl friends.using ZANUPF’s name for thieving?.don’t be liniant Dr Mombeshora expose them like What the uncorrupt Professor Moyo is trying; though still accused; He is trying to expose corruption activities of the top brass.

    • Chilo

      There is not a single good thing Zanoids have done to Zim, Destroyed the once Sunshine City, destroyed the farms, destroyed even the roads. Pieces of trash!!

  • Emperor Nero

    This regime can,t seem to get things right the first time.The indigenisation policy is already being amanded.They should have started by establishing a criteria to determine who qualifies to own the land.This is what Tsvangirai has been saying all this time and was being accused of not wanting blacks to own land.The fact that one is black shouldn,t be the only qualification one needs to own land,you have to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and resources to to fully utilise the land.Pple took advantage of the chaotic natureof the land redistribution process to aquire land for their 10yr olds and unborn babies,and who can blame them? Now taxpayers will have to folkout 35mill dollars to correct the mistakes that could have been avoided by proper planning.At least this is an indirect way of admitting mistakes were made.

    • terracota

      They do not know the meaning of Quality neither do they understand what Total Quality Management is… yes it is there in governance and administration too. no wonder it takes us very long to catchup with the rest of the world. We bungle a couple of times before we finally do the right thing if at we do it

      • proda1

        Ana terracota kaTQM kepa A Level mob, ndoo komoshambadzira paforum. Just go straight to yo point.

        • ini zvangu

          Iwe warwadziwa nei pa TQM ya Terracota yepa MOB pa A-Level. At least anoziva painoshanda, akaikanda hake paForum, zvakaipei? Kanda constructive critism paForum kwete kungoshora vamwe chete!

          • Strategic

            Taura hako. TQM is the $35m issue here and it is exactly the point. It’s basics that matter the most Proda1.

        • Terracota

          The fact that you said its A Level MOB stuff yet our gvt s failing on exactly that speaks volumes about us as a country. The issue is not about it being an A Level topic or a degree level thing. The issue is TQM was not used in the first place and its now costing us $35Million to rectify. Please lets not look at who said what or whether u did PHD and know so much even the basic A Level stuff still counts regardless of who said it “Vamwe vakaudzwa hondo nemurwere wepfungwa….”

    • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

      Yes mistakes were made in the implementation of the program. Project managers will tell you that mistakes are common in life! Putting effort to correct the mistakes should be admired by any sane person! Even during our armed struggle , cadres made mistakes but we corrected then and moved on until we dislodged your SMITH regime. We learned from our weaknesses at the Chinhoyi battle we perfected with time ! About Tsvangiruza, may I remind you of the CNNTV report in yr 2000 that showed him receiving money from a white farmer in BANKET and the reason stated by the boer why the white farmers CFU was supporting MDC! MDC leader compromised himself when he agreed to promise back land to boers. Fidelis Mhashu also appeared on the BBC stating his MDCT party would return land to boers when it forms the govt! We know why MDCT still has Eddie Cross as the chief economic adviser instead of the better qualified Mashakada!
      Having studied Western nations history, they also went through similar weaknesses in their political ,social and economic developments over time. Only dead people , who are waiting for the coming of Jesus CHRIST,, will not make mistakes. I rest my long posting!

      • provyd

        kkkkk how many yrs did it tek to realise ey made a mistake, yes mistakes r ere bt it shldnt be a justification for improper planning, why not plan and do right the first time and save our hard earned cash resources, now we nid 35million to correct an avoidable mistake

      • masvukupete

        Why make a mistake if you can do something correctly. Advice comes right and left and you decide you know it all then make the same mistakes the advice was trying to avoid. Chandagwinyira shavi rebenzi.

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

          @ provyd & masvukupete:::::: ?: The mistakes did not take long to be discovered. The party and GOVT had to concerntrate on fighting MDCT and the West who were hell bent on reversing our land reform. . Now that we had our reform entrenched in the constitution and dislodged MDCT as a political force , its now the right time to correct and move on , while MDCT and the WEST are in disarray! The fact that we never did it correctly the first time is not a big issue .We now control the land with less neo colonial forces pressure, we can improve and shame you , our detractors ! You can decry the reform and ZANUPF policies , but the big advantage was that people saw goodness in ZANUPF and voted for our revolutionary party , as publicly admiitted by the MDCT Sec GEN Biti! We now have many diasporans looking for agric land and no longer believe in MDCT neo colinial policies! We will win again in 2018 ! That is the reality in Zim , not your foolish insinuations on our land reform! You will in few yrs time see our agric sector recovering and give impetus to our economic recovery . Hartidzokere shure kwete!

          • succuba

            “The mistakes did not take long to be discovered.”

            Land reform started around 2000, its now 2014 – go figure, that’s 14 YEARS!! Are you for real?

      • succuba

        Speaking of whites propping up a government with donations you conveniently forgot to mention that before the formation of the MDC, Zanu PF received and used money from donors at home and abroad, including white groups and white organisations. The late British tycoon Tiny Rowland was for a long time a major Zanu PF donor.

        Zanu-PF still receives donations from white-owned businesses as shown by a story in a Zimbabwean newspaper last year..

        • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof )

          It all depends on the conditions of any donations! In the case of MDCT a farmer at Banket stated clearly that CFU was investing in MDC to be assisted to regain land! This was reported by CNNTV showing Morgan rcving the dirty money ! Bennet raised funds to promote the neo colonial project to use MDCT! ZANUPF will not rcv money to betray our ideology and trajectory on economic democracy! In Zambia , the labour movement formed a political party to change govt. It was easy and not violent becoz Chiluba`s party did not have ANY FOREIGN CONTROL AGAINST Zambian people interests. I can also inform you that I studied at the London School of Economics under a BRITISH COUNCIL grant! There were NO conditions that i would in future promote Blair interests! Please guided accordingly!

          • succuba

            Whilst I cede that Fidelis Mhashu may have said on hardtalk (although I cannot find the original transcript… still looking so can you provide the link as you seem to know) that if the MDC won the election they would give the rightful owners their property back, this is just one persons mutterings and does not fit in with the official standing on this issue, also let me remind you that this despicable person was also accused of incest with TWO nieces and was also expelled from the party although he may be back in now, I need to check this. It has also been reported that a chap called Dr. Fidelis Mhashu a retired “politician” has been sending out scamming letters for a property business, in essence what I am saying is that anything from this chap must be taken with a pinch of salt, go to the scammers website, the post was dated 14 Aug 2012 time 8:21 pm and see for yourself.

            So: could you please provide a link to that “CNNTV” report in 2000 and also that hardtalk interview link and please not newspaper propaganda links.

    • Hacha Ndizvo

      The MDC-T has been saying this for the past donkey years – I wonder why it is suddenly news now. When the MDC pushed for a land audit during the inclusive government the same ZANU PF people actively resisted and trashed the whole idea as an imperialistic machination. These people are really amazing.

  • Pontius Pilate

    If MDC T had done this,headline would be MDC T allocates land to 10yr olds.Who allocated the land?

    • majetsha

      ZANU PF did allocate the land to 10yr olds. pane chazvinochinja here? vamwe vanhu sooka.

  • Simbisai

    Here we go again, “We have asked Treasury to allow us to retain 60 percent of that money”!
    Each Minister wishes to create his own personal fiefdom with financial resources independent from centralised funding in Treasury to be redistributed for the benefit for all Zimbabweans. Just like the Armed Forces and their participation in diamonds, the Police with their fines and all seized goods, Mpofu with his tolls, and just about everyone else in Government, it’s all about me, Me, ME!
    Such ingrained greed and corruption manifest by all the ruling hierarchy is an absolute disgrace, yet the President fully aware of the situation continues to do nothing except spout more rhetoric and promises without action, when he has the mandate and power to rid us of all these irresponsible and corrupt leaders who don’t give a hoot for the welfare of the nation or its people.
    Seriously, what legacy does President Mugabe wish to leave?

    • zibonele

      This encourages every Ministry to try to find a way of collecting money from suffering people as it will directly benefit from it..Shame on you guys.

  • taura mabhunu

    Why do you need $35m to do normal work those in the ministry should be doing?
    Put out advertisements that those who acquired land fraudulently must come forward, give them a grace period of three months, and after that, prosecute and jail offenders without an option of a fine.
    And this business of ministries wanting to retain a % of money they raise is a disaster, it means govt. funds, treasury, is not centralised and the budget allocations are rendered useless. And we want to call ourselves a nation of intellectuals!! God help us.

    • Gwebi graduate

      And to think that we have indegenous farmers/ college graduates in farming,who will do anything to do what they both love and know best which is farming but for some unknown reason will not be considered for land allocation,really beats me.Again just an advert in the press for these kind of people will have the job done.Am speaking on behalf of trained agricultural people,one of the guys who worked for ARDA dairy farm in the 80s/90s was dairy manager of the year for two years running,and is not even considered for land even if it means we import milk from RSA!which guys like him are able to produce for the nation,then others went on to be approved seed and foundation seed growers of most row crops,but because most where managers with good homesteads and obviously being close to the farm owner where labeled sell outs,because someone was allocated a piece of land on the farm and did not have a house to go with, they got kicked out together with the white farmers,now we go to Zambia with hand in cap for something that ten of these guys can do.Most of these guys ,because of their experience and and relationship in their industry,can raise their own working capital,which the new farmers have failed to do,because havasikugona kurima.We all know that the land reform was done in haste and mistakes where made in the process but appreciate the initiative to have it corrected,but only this time it must be done quickly and properly with qualification requirements well presented,and priority given to those that are trained and most of all experienced in this business.

  • bambo

    $35 million for audit sheff is too much. That would be $116 per audited farm if 300 000 families got land. Hope you did your maths well..

    • Strategic

      This is the new reason (Minister) why a land audit is not viable – we cannot afford it??

  • kutototo

    Here we go again. The usual talk show and we know it will end here in the papers and nothing will be done, its now a very familiar story and we are used to it. expecting this current government to remedy the situations would be akin to a mosquito curing malaria.

  • Jongwe

    Oh mr. reporter! Say the program was marred by CORRUPTION NOT A MIX UP OF NAMES. Remember your readers are mature enough to make a conclusion outside what you think. I hate being treated like a baby. Or are you afraid of being labled a “weevil”?

  • Marabha

    Zvino chasetsa chii nhai vaMombeshora pavana varikupihwa mapurazi vaine 10yrs?

    • Agric graduate

      Allocating to a ten year old or a forty year old same fanana vese havazikushandisa minda yacho

  • JAYA

    Successful land reform

  • 10yrs=90yrs

    so the MDC was right ,you ZANU PF guys have been taking us for a ride at the nations expense,pamaiti 70% land utelisation tichidya bulgar nemhandire tichisafa blaming sanctions and tsvangirai for nothing ,saka maiti ma10yr olds were farming ?the other question what benefit does the nation get when harahwa ne chembere dzakazara muzanu get farms ,if you retire them in the form sector and you give them a large piece of land (which is the mainstay of the economy) are we not shooting ourselves because they are equally unproductive like the 10yr olds

  • Rurururu

    Asi zvaimbotaurwa kuti piro yemapurazi haina kujeka, MUCHIRAMBA nhasi ndo pomoda $35m yei sure, yei nyika yakadai, yema allowances sure? Handiti pane vanhu vagara varipabasa iroro vatori kuhora salary ngavagadzirise zvavakashaisha with no further costs aaaaaah taneta nemi kungoda kukokota twese tumari sure asi zvinhu zvakadai aaaaaaaaa Mwari do something.

  • Zimbo

    So cmde Mombeshora wants 35million to sort out the mess they created in 99/2000, I guess half of that will go towards SUVs to enable those conducting the verification process to be mobile …..kkk….zvakaoma

  • Mangwende we Chinhoyi

    All the same, the land redistribution exercise is a very noble achievement to the Zimbabwean indigenous people – which ever way it is handled.

    • ini zvangu

      Noble idea and not a noble achievement! What achievement are you talking about? If giving 10yr olds land is an achievement to you, then something is really wrong with u. Don’t ask me what it is but its there. Haasi mahumbwe ka aya?

  • Geza Mugomo

    How can you say “Government has unearthed irregularities in the allocation of farms” when it is the same and very goverment that allocated these farms. It’s like saying you have caught yourself stealing. The truth is we are being pushed beyong our humanity limit, talk of mismanagement, salagate, corruption, land scams..etc….saka how can the country develop?

  • Tamuka

    Nyika iri kutongwa neMafia iyi. Vazviziva nhasi kuti minda yakazara vanhu vasingakodzeri kunge varipo paminda yacho!! This is a joke, salarygate now over want to move to something new!! Gadzirai economy kwete mahumbwe amuri kuita aya……

  • Persie pers

    this 35mil business is a hux to nthe tax payers. why should we pay for their mistex, how is it justified, kwakungoda kujga mari bedzi. are they telling us that for the past 14 years they had not found out kuti they made that mistake indava vachidaro so? ngavasatipedere nguva vachita zvakadaro

  • Cde Mzvinavhu(Prof)

    We welcome any measures to fine tune our land reforn program. In life, there is always a need to improve. Lack of skills and greedness by some officials or members of govt should be corrected. But the bottom line is that we took back our land and no Bennet or Kay or Cross will interfere with our rightful use of the land. . Admittedly , there were weaknessses as alluded by Cde Minister. The colonial boers took some yrs to perfect the agric sector and we can also do bettter with time. Any derision by MDCT supporters on our land reform will not reverse the noble trajectory! Thanx to our Cde Minister for his progressive trajectory! As a successful A1 farmer who is doing well , I have no doubt that all problems will be sorted out and our agric sector will be the envy of the misled MDCT supporters and their now disillusioned Western handlers! The majority of Zimbabweans voted to entrench our land reform in our new constitution. The correction of mistakes and proper utilisation of the land is now our preoccupation! Thank heavens we know and accept our mistakes which will be easier to correct than the suffering we have endured from sanctions imposed becoz of the land issue!

    • Gurwe

      Ha ha i can see there are some ignorant people in Zim for sure. Fine tune for 13 years???? improve papi va cde mzvinavhu? greediness by some members of govt or of zpf? didnt mdct call for this kind of audit?? izvezvi kune vana vasati vazvarwa vane maprazi, vakafa varikurima, ma girl friends evakuru even vanhu vasinga existe vanawo maprazi aya. these are not weaknesses but entrenched, corrupt, ineffective, self enrichment ideologies by a cliche of people. Iyi yave strategy yekutsvaga mari like zviri kuitwa ku zinara ne kuzesa uko. ka 35mil aka kari kutsvairwa nema ford ranger achatengwa ne ma allowances ekuita audit. thieving at its best….cry my ZIM.

  • Dhunanga

    The issue is simple and you don’t need large sums of money to deal with people who have been allocated land when there are people down there and on the ground. The District administrators should do the donkey work and come up with a clean document otherwise the culprits are known.

    To those who think this is an opportunity to lobby for their Tsvangirai manifesto I think you are a bit behind, others are working on the way forward and you are thinking otherwise. Gone are the days and people out there know what they are doing, corrections are done everywhere even at your home. Utilisation of land is not the reason behind land redistribution and we did not redistribute land because the white race was underutilising it. It was meant to empower the owners of the land which I don’t think you are part of.

    You can go ahead and write what pleases you but that will not issue you with land otherwise you are better off looking for your own piece of land which I don’t think you will ever get with that foreign mind.

    • Mhunhu

      Utilization of land should have been priority no.1 when distributing land. Land is a finite resource and as such not everybody can get land, actually practically speaking at most only 5% of the pop can get land for agricultural purposes. Land should simply produce enough to feed the nation and support the manufacturing industry( Dairy Board, CSC, Colcolm, Olivine, textile etc) so that the whole nation benefits. Even those who got the land vakaita vana 2 or more not all of them can get that piece of land as it will become to small. Others have to venture into other sectors.
      Failure to do so creates economic refugees, an AID dependent nation, crime and even civil strife which we are not so far away from.

  • Thetruthshallcome

    Really! A ten year old being allocated a farm? Are Zimbabweans meant to believe this? Heads to roll? The decent thing us the resignation of the minister and the entire ministry. What criteria was used to allocate land to ten year olds with a date of birth which shows their age apa havana kana number yechitupa? This makes the whole exercise a morale degradation to the would be authorities

  • wamaromo

    Because of these 10 year olds some of us who used to roam around offices looking for land have decided to go into the country and look for land from these so-called 10 year olds and their fathers are very willing to lease the land to us. What can we do applications could have been thrown through the window that is why deserving people are now leasing land from these 10 year and 12 year olds. To be fair anybody who did it fraudlently should lose everything because it now changes from getting to loot and we should not let people benefit from loot.

  • Lulu

    I also applied for this land and my name appeared in The Herald but until now I don’t have anything. I really wondered and still wondering kuti vane minda vacho ndivanaani. KuMazowe uko ndiko kwandakange ndapihwa munda asi veduwe zvakangotsakatika. Tiri veZimbabwewo.

  • succuba

    This is why the government refuses to consent to a land reform audit.

  • Tarubva

    Mombeshora, the whole program stinks! There is nothing you can do when the commander in chief, the ultimate custodian of the constitution, has several farms. The rot starts at the very top. Despite your good intentions minister, you will hit a brick
    wall on this one, because it entails stripping the entire executive of their
    multiple farms. That is how your good intentions will come unstuck. Just last
    week, we heard about a farm house belonging to Mnangagwa’s son that went up in
    smoke. So everyone, father, sons, wives and daughters, have farms? How many
    land audits have been done? Remember Flora Buka’s that was swept under the
    carpet. You will get the same results as Flora did, and I bet my last cent, all
    your effort will go to waste. But worry not, this is just a temporary
    order as any sane government that will shortly come will rearrange
    the program and bury that chaos once and for all. And in the process, putting
    in Chikurubi all those who rightfully belong there!

    • Strategic

      Or was there some diamond audit not too long ago???

  • Joseph Gabriel

    Why do people run this country as if we are in the stone age, no strategy in policy implementation? the people who uncovered this issue should solve it since it’s their job why do they need 35mill to do what they are currently being paid to do?

  • Madzibaba

    He said a comprehensive audit to uproot the irregularities was on cards and it required US$35 million.-if its chewing up that amount-please let them have the farms ,we cannot spend all that on auditng-

    • Strategic

      I agree, they should also estimate the potential benefits(who & when) and we can do the normal cost-benefit comparison.

  • vekare

    My understanding is that the ministry is addressing corruption by cleaning their act. It’s good that they acknowledge having made errors in the past. What we should be doing therefore is to help them out by providing information on those pieces of land that we know or think have been allocated questionable and let them through their structures deal with it in a more transparent manner.As for the costings I am sure the good minister could come up with a less cosi approach by fully utilising current resources and systems.

  • Stanford

    Everything stinks for sure. You destroyed the whole agriculture and livelihoods. The whole nation is hungry and desperate. The government is very broke and it now requires $35m to do an audit. What a shame!

  • Col Nyathi

    Don’t we have comedians who can produce a play on the blunders of this government.
    First we had a whole cabinet thinking that diesel can just ooze from a rock. I cant seem to get Mutasa ‘s shoeless feet each time I think about it.
    We then had the less funny SALARYGATE , WAR VICTIMS FUNDS,VIP Housing scheme etc. Is there something this government can do better than corruption?

  • Treasure

    Get 1.7m x 39cm Steel Roofing Tile for US9.00 inc Vat (Green,Black,Burgundy and Terracotta)

    Call 0864458306

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  • povo

    Any arrest of offenders so far.?,our any correction done?ANY land repossesed and given to deserving cases?What was the objective of the Land Audit? Ma 1 daddy