25 January 2019

Zimbabwe: Govt to Repossess Underutilised Farms

Photo: The Herald
(File photo)

Government will soon repossess land from beneficiaries of land reform who have multiple farms, underutilised land and those with farms that exceed the recommended sizes, to enable more people, particularly youths to benefit.

Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima said Government tasked the Land Commission to assess farms that exceed the recommended sizes and those that were being underutilised.

In the Midlands province, the standard farm size is 500 hectares.

Midlands Provincial Lands Committee has recommended downsizing of over 50 farms for resettlement from owners who have over the years failed to utilise them.

The farms, according to recommendations from the lands committee, would be downsized into viable plots for allocation to other potential land owners.

Minister Mavima said the province was still grappling with illegal settlers, some of whom have settled on State land for close to 20 years.

Midlands Province has more than 15 000 illegal settlers some of whom were resettled by politicians and traditional chiefs.

"The issue of resettlement is one of the major issues that we are dealing with as a province," said Minister Mavima.

"At the moment, the Lands Commission is going around the province assessing farms.

"They are looking at usage, size and productivity. Government will soon repossess land whose sizes exceed the recommended one.

"The downsizing exercise has been stopped, so has the resettlement exercise."

Minister Mavima said Midlands has more than 12 000 people on the lands waiting list and the province was in the process of applying for the change of conservancies into resettlement areas.

"There are 12 356 people on the waiting list of farm allocations," he said.

"We are writing the letters of the change of use from conservancies to agricultural land.

"This, however, is subject to approval by the Minister of Lands."

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