Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Chiefs in land scam

Chiefs in land scam

 Herald, Sunday, March 07, 2010 Tuesday, 9 March

 By Kuda Bwititi

 SEVERAL chiefs and new farmers in Mashonaland Central have been placed under investigation for allegedly leasing their Government-allocated  farms to white former commercial farmers.

 Already, some of the farmers who have been found guilty of illegally  leasing State land have been dispossessed of their apportioned land as Government moves in to arrest the trend which is putting a dent on the
 historic Land Reform Programme. Among the traditional leaders at the centre of the probe is Chief Makope from the Mvurwi area, who is said to have leased land allocated to him by the Government to a white farmer.

 In an interview last week, Mashonaland Central Governor and Resident Minister Advocate Martin Dinha said the probe would expose several other chiefs who are believed to be sub-letting their land to the ex-
 commercial farmers. “It is sad that some very prominent people in the province, including chiefs, are leasing their land to the white farmers.

 “We have identified several chiefs who have leased their land and we are investigating them with a view of taking stern action. What is sad is that some of these chiefs were also encouraging people in their area to also lease their land,” he said. Advocate Dinha said the chiefs risked losing their land, adding that land officers in the province had started repossessing land from the offending farmers.

 “We will not hesitate to repossess the land from anyone including the chiefs. We have one case of a farmer who had a 1 000-hectare farm, but we have cut it to 10 hectares because he had leased almost the entire hectareage. Land officers were deployed to his farm on Thursday to carry out the demarcations,” he said. He said most farmers who had leased their land were quacking in their boots.

 It is understood that one farmer who holds a senior position in the Zanu-PF provincial structures had even lied that the white farmer operating on his land was his manager. Adv Dinha said Mashonaland Central had a waiting list of more than 5 000 applicants who wanted to be allocated both A1 and A2 plots. He said some of these applicants stood to benefit from the repossessed farms.

 “We have more than 1 800 applicants for A2 and 3 200 for A1 model. In terms of the Global Political Agreement, the land reform is irreversible and ongoing. We will allocate land to people who are eager
 to perform well on the farms.”

 Speaking during a media briefing at his official residence last week, President Mugabe said the Government would not tolerate the illegal leasing of land and warned that those involved in the practice would be


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