Livingstone Marufu, Property Reporter
SOME farmers who were allocated land on the outskirts of Harare and other towns are illegally converting the land into residential stands and selling them.
It has emerged that these unscrupulous land dealers are selling residential stands measuring up to 2 000 square metres for as much as $45 000 in areas near Chishawasha and Crowhill. But Government said such deals were illegal and perpetrators risk being arrested and have their offer letters withdrawn.
“There has been a surge in the selling of agricultural land around major towns and cities but we say no to that,” Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister Davison Marapira told The Herald Property Guide.
“All those land seekers who are buying such land risk losing the land as we will come to take back what’s ours. Please be warned that Government will take all misappropriated land. All those whom we have allocated such land will risk arrest and withdrawal of offer letters.”
Experts suggest that in early 2000 peri-urban agriculture contributed around 26 percent of the country’s national food requirements. Deputy Minister Marapira said in as much as the country wanted to cut the housing backlog, there was also need to critically look at food security. Deputy Minister Marapira said: “China, one of the most developed economies of the world, is reclaiming hills, mountains and seas to build their houses, it doesn’t use the agriculture land for building purposes.
“Its high time we start to build those high rise buildings to save land. High rise buildings occupy more people than our ordinary flat buildings so we should move towards direction to provide housing for our people.”