13 November 2018

Southern Africa: Zim, Mozambique Fight Over Land Ownership

Photo: VOA
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Zimbabwe could lose a number of properties in Mozambique due to the absence of title deeds to prove ownership.

In her 2017 audit report, Auditor General Mildred Chiri said Zimbabwe had three immovable properties in Mozambique, previously owned by the Rhodesian government who did not hand them over to the new administration after independence in 1980.

"Zim Maputo had seven immovable properties, six of them that were occupied had no clear ownership status.The Zimbabwean Government did not have proof of ownership in the form of title deeds.The question of the ownership of properties has not been resolved since 1980.

"At Zim Beira three immovable properties allegedly belonging to the Zimbabwean Government had no title,

"According to the staff records kept at Beira Consulate, these properties belonged to the former Rhodesian Government and the host government did not hand over properties to the Zimbabwean Government," she said.

She added that there is a risk that the government may lose ownership of properties in Mozambique in the absence of original title deeds.

"The original deed of transfer for the official residence at Zim-Rome was not availed for audit, except a photocopy which was on file.

"In Zimbabwe-Brussels the Chancery building walls and the roof were in a bad state.However funds that had been earmarked for the renovation of the building were used to fund the operations of the mission.

"There is a risk that Government may lose ownership of properties in Mozambique, if renovations are delayed financial loss may result from continued deterioration of Chancery.

"In the absence of original title deeds, ownership might be difficult to prove," added Chiri.

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