‘Govt must monitor land use’
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Government should establish a land information management system to help in formulating policies around farm land usage, an official has said.
Zimbabwe Land Commission (ZLC) chairwoman Mrs Tendai Bare said there was no consolidated information regarding land usage and that this impeded efforts to formulate viable policies to enhance productivity.
Mrs Bare said this on Wednesday while giving oral evidence before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement.
The committee, chaired by Gokwe-Nembudziya MP Justice Mayor Wadyajena (Zanu-PF), had invited ZLC together with its parent ministry to get an appreciation of the impact of the ministry’s 2018 budget vote.
“The Government of Zimbabwe does not have complete information on how much agricultural land has been allocated and parcelled out, who got what, issues like who that person is and what that person is doing with that piece of land,” said Mrs Bare.
“There is no information on what is the quantum of hectarage of the land. So, without this information the Government varikufembera fembera when they are developing their policies on agriculture because they do not have facts.”
Mrs Bare said there was need to adequately fund the information centre.
She said they had noted that land disputes such as double allocation and boundary encroachment had adversely affected production.
This, she said, showed the need to fund ZLC adequately to effectively deal with those issues.
“There are issues that affect production in farms,” said Mrs Bare. “Some of them are arbitrary withdrawal of offer letters, double allocation, boundary disputes, inheritance issues when a husband dies. If these issues are not resolved, they militate against production.”
Turning to their budget, Mrs Bare said the Commission required capacitation on vehicles for operations, office space and furniture, among other equipment.
“Farmers are now aware of the Zimbabwe Land Commission and its mandate,” she said. “More farm disputants are now lodging their disputes with the Commission for resolution.
“In 2017, the Commission inspected 188 farms for issuance of 99-year leases.”
Secretary for Agriculture, Lands and Rural Resettlement Mr Ringson Chitsiko said Government would continue to mobilise resources under Command Agriculture as it diversifies to Command Livestock and Wildlife.