Another 350 000 hectares will be opened for irrigation over the next three years to climate proof Zimbabwe's farming, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Dr Anxious Masuka told the National Assembly yesterday.
"Government has plans to operationalise 350 000 ha of arable land in the next three years using the 10 000 dams we have in the country," he said.
The programme would start with the opening up of over 106 000 ha of land for irrigation in Masvingo province using the new and now full Tugwi-Mukosi dam. The development of irrigation schemes in Chilonga in Chiredzi district is part of this project.
The minister said the recently launched accelerated irrigation rehabilitation plan had also identified 44 000 ha of irrigable land that require rehabilitation on A1 and A2 farms.
The country has experienced numerous droughts of late that have increased the need for irrigation to ensure food security.
In the same question session, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told the National Assembly that the country's justice delivery system has checks and balances that ensure everyone is treated equally before the law.
Responding to questions by Magwegwe legislator Mr Anele Ndebele who alleged there was victimisation of opposition and civic society activists through arrests, Minister Ziyambi said: "We have various Government departments that deal with specific issues.
"The police are there to ensure there's peace and tranquillity in the country and when they believe a crime has been committed they make arrests and handover the suspects for prosecution," he said.
It was the duty of the prosecution to vet cases brought before them to ensure they meet minimum standards for prosecution. Once a case had been brought before the courts a person could be convicted or acquitted with further opportunities being availed on appeal and review.
"This shows that our system has checks and balances that are available to everyone," he said.
A number of MDC Alliance activists have been arrested with a member of the party's youth executive being imprisoned recently on incitement of violence charges.