More than 200 000 on farms waiting list

THE Zimbabwe Land Commission is finalising an audit of the fast-track land redistribution programme for purposes of allocating it to the more than 200 thousand Zimbabweans who applied for land, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement minister Dr Anxious Masuka has said.

Minister Masuka was responding to questions from legislators in Parliament’s Question Without Notice session Wednesday afternoon.

“Downsizing has been suspended for productive farms and allocation is ongoing, with the capacitation and participation of land officers at district and provincial levels. More than 200 thousands applicants on the waiting list are waiting for land,” he said.

He added that to expedite the land allocation process, farmers have been requested to submit productivity returns so that the ministry can assess which farms are being utilised and which ones are suitable for downsizing.

He added, “The district lands committees is urged to expeditiously identify land available for distribution and submit the details for administrative processing at the ministry.”

Responding to whether the land allocation process was being done on partisan basis, Minister Masuka said, “There is no shift in policy. There is no discrimination.”

“Allocations were done at district, provincial and national level. The challenge is these allocations were not integrated in a single system at head office, which explains why we had to undertake audits. That process is painstakingly slow. It will take us another 3 to 5 years to complete through the Zimbabwe Land Commission, at the rate at which resources have been availed to the commission.”

The minister also indicated that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority and District Development Fund had been mandated to drill boreholes at schools around the country, to ensure the availability of runing water in schools. – BBC