Hands off State land, ‘barons’ warned
Elita Chikwati Agriculture Reporter
The Government is concerned over illegal settlements with land barons continuing to illegally sell State land near Harare and has made it clear that all farms around Harare will remain State land.
Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement Dr Douglas Mombeshora and Local Government Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week held a joint Press conference on illegal settlements.
Minister Mombeshora said Government was concerned by the growing problem of illegal settlements with land barons continuing to sell State land on farms and undesignated areas.
He said all farms around Harare remained State land.
“Both ministries have observed that in areas around Harare, Mara Farm in Ruwa, Kimcott Farm in Seke, Xekene Farm in Seke, Greenlands Farm in Seke, Gwalia in Seke, Tantalon in Seke, Dunotter in Seke, Kingsdale Farm of Johannesburg in Norton and, Lydiate in Norton are the most affected by this unfortunate development.
“Following information received from the public, the law enforcement agents are currently looking for one Mr Gombiro and a Mr Juche who are alleged to have been parcelling out State land at Kimcott and Xekene Farms respectively. We warn individuals engaged in the same illegal activities that the long arm of the law will catch up with them soon.
“Government is determined to bring these individuals to face the full wrath of the law,” he said.
He discouraged members of the public from paying their money to individuals in exchange of State land for residential or agriculture pur- poses.
He said Government was strongly committed to availing land for both agriculture and urban development in a properly regulated and transparent manner, and will not recognise illegally established settlements.
Minister Kasukuwere said there had been a proliferation of settlements around Harare, Goromonzi, Mazowe, Zvimba and Seke.
“We want to call upon our people to desist from buying and following individuals who will tell them that there is land available for sale.
“There is no such (thing) until they prove that they have a developer’s permit and have been sanctioned by the State, and have the necessary authority and the key infrastructure has been put in place. There should be roads, water and sewer system,” he said.
He said Government was committed to create an enabling environment to ensure people had access to land for housing in an orderly manner.
In a separate development, Minister Mombeshora is willing to regularise farmers who occupied land during the fast-track land reform without proper documents, but not those who illegally occupied land later.