Joseph Madzimure Senior Reporter
GOVERNMENT has allocated war veterans 15 000 hectares of farmland in the country’s eight agricultural provinces following complaints that the liberation war fighters were excluded from the Land Reform Programme, The Herald has established.
Government has since ordered the eight provincial ministers to identify and reserve underutilised land for the exercise, which is in fulfilment of the 20 percent quota policy aimed at ensuring that war veterans are empowered.
As part of an ongoing programme of empowering war veterans, the War Veterans Act and the Ex-Detainees Act are being realigned with the Constitution, while a policy stipulating that 20 percent of every piece of land acquired by Government for redistribution is reserved for war veterans is being enforced.
A letter to the provincial ministers from Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri states that all the provinces should identify vacant land and prioritise its allocation to the liberation war veterans.
“In line with the noble objective of empowering veterans of the liberation struggle enunciated above, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement is mandated to prioritise allocation of land to the gallant sons and daughters of Zimbabwe who participated in the protracted struggle for the liberation of the country,” the letter reads.
Minister Shiri said the mandate of his ministry compelled provincial ministers to play their role in identifying and prioritising the allocation of land to the heroes and heroines of the liberation struggle.
According to the letter, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central, as well as Manicaland provinces were ordered to reserve 1 000ha of land for war veterans, Midlands will reserve 2 000ha, with Masvingo, Matabeleland South and Matabeleland North required to reserve 3 000ha each.
“Hon Ministers, the above allocations of land should ideally be at one place, but if the situation on the ground does not permit, the allocation should at least be in the same geographical area for ease of administration by the war veterans in that province,” Minister Shiri said.
“May you also kindly take note that the subject directive should be implemented with immediate effect as it takes precedence over other allocations for land. As such, it would be greatly appreciated if respective allocation schedules could reach my office before June 27, 2019.
“May you further kindly take note that in the event of land disputes, under no circumstances should a war veteran have his or her offer cancelled.
“You should also adhere to the implementation of the 20 percent quota policy aimed at ensuring that war veterans are empowered . . .”