Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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99-year leases can be cancelled: Govt

99-year leases can be cancelled: Govt

Ninety-nine year land leases offered to new farmers could be terminated 
should the beneficiaries fail to utilize the land for two consecutive years, 
the ministry of lands officials said over the weekend.
by Jane Makoni

The government gave 99-year lease letters to a few top party and government 
senior officials believed to have the capacity to fully utilize acquired 
large scale A2 farms.

“I hope you are aware that there were not many farmers who benefitted from 
the 99-year lease facility. The long lease on its own was no guarantee that 
one may do as he pleases with the allocated land. Should a farmer let the 
farm lay idle for two consecutive years, he risks losing the land to the 

Before a farmer receives the 99-year lease offer, he cannot tamper with 
structures left at the farm by the former owner,” said an official at the 
ministry of lands exhibition stand at the Mashonaland East Provincial Show.

Contrary to the regulations, new farmers went on to vandalise property left 
by evicted white commercial farmers soon after invading the farms. No 
serviceable infrastructure was left on most of the occupied farms.

The official said should the beneficiary of the 99-year land lease pass on 
before the lease period expires, his living dependents may approach the 
Lands Ministry and sign relevant agreement papers to inherit the property.

Farmers interested in benefitting from the land reform programme are 
required to express their interest by way of an application letter through 
the ministry of lands. Applications are vetted by a committee made up of 
government officials, traditional leaders and War Veterans, among other 

If the application is approved, the applicant is given an offer letter for 
the land applied for. After proving to the ministry of land inspectors that 
he is a capable and productive farmer, the farmer is offered a 99-year lease 

“Composition of the vetting committee membership compromised the land 
redistribution exercise with mainly Zanu (PF) supporters benefitting. In 
fact, the exercise was regarded as a Zanu (PF) project used to thank party 
cadres for standing by Mugabe during his dark days as head of state, hence 
the inclusion of war veterans in the vetting process,” said a resident, 
Stephen Chamunorwa, who was denied the opportunity to access land as he was 
a known MDC activist.


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