Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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9 million hectares of land seized since 2000

9 million hectares of land seized since 2000

By  | June 13, 2016

Source: 9 million hectares of land seized since 2000 – NewZimbabwe 12/06/2016

GOVERNMENT has seized 9, 4 million hectares of land from white commercial farmers since 2000, but none of the intended black beneficiaries own the land.

This was revealed by Lands and Rural Resettlement deputy minister Berita Chikwama in the upper house this past week.

Chikwana had been asked by MDC-T Senator Michael Carter to furnish the house with information on the size of land now being occupied by A1, A2 farmers and the number of title deed holders of land previously owned by white commercial farmers.

“As of now,” Chikwana said, “the following statistics are relevant to the question at hand. Hectrage under A1: 5 979 million; hectrage under A2: 3 498 million.

“There are no title deed holders on land previously owned by commercial farmers as this land is allocated on the basis of offer letters which graduate into 99 year leases and permits.”

In total, Chikwana said, the country is sitting on 15 million hectares of commercial land with the rest still in the hands of white commercial farmers who survived the farm seizures and land in the hands of foreigners.

“We were holding 15 million hectares but as we go, you will find that the statistic that I gave you is only 9.4 million hectares,” Chikwama said.

“So in other farms, indigenous people are there.  Also there is what we call Bilateral Investment Promotion Agreements (BIPA) farms which are still on the farms.

“There are also some white farmers who are still occupying some of the land and if we add it to that with some pieces of land, we are going to come up with 15 million hectares.”

Zimbabwe land reform exercise has largely been described as chaotic and skewed towards Zanu PF’s patronage system.

Since embarking on the controversial process in 2000, agricultural output has taken a nose dive leaving millions starving.

The Zanu PF government has also been condemned for failure to put a stop to land invasions which have seen the remaining white commercial farmers live in fear of one day losing their properties.

But Chikwana said the process was continuous.

“To us land reform is a process and not an event,” she said.

“It is a process comprising several steps that are accomplished as implementation progresses.

“In our case, these include land acquisition, planning activities to subdivide farms, settler selection and emplacement, compensation, provision of security of tenure and regular farm inspections.

“Whilst the Government has completed some of these steps particularly with regards to land acquisition and settler emplacement, we continue to focus on other important stages of the process now focus on provision of security tenure in order to spur agricultural production.”


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