Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Parliament on Tuesday rejected proposed amendments to the Land Commission Bill that were pushed by traditional leaders in the Senate. Through the proposed amendments, traditional leaders wanted two of their members to be appointed to the Zimbabwe Land Commission. The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) passed an adverse report on the amendments, saying they violated the Constitution.
The Zimbabwe Land Commission is a product of the new Constitution that was adopted in 2013. Its responsibilities include advising Government on management of agricultural land, carrying out periodic audits and settling land disputes. In its adverse report, the PLC said the Constitution did not allow traditional leaders jurisdiction over agricultural land, but on communal land, rendering their proposed amendments unconstitutional.
The traditional leaders stuck to their guns, saying the recommendations by the PLC were not binding. The Bill was, as a result, referred back to the National Assembly. Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora brought back the Bill to the National Assembly with the proposed amendments.
But the National Assembly shot down the proposals by the Senate as recommended by traditional leaders, meaning the Bill will now have to go to the President for assent. The Zimbabwe Land Commission is chaired by Commissioner Tendai Bare and deputised by Mr Tadious Muzoroza.
Its other members are Retired Major Abdul Gabriel Credit Nyathi, Commissioners Jeanatte Marrie Manjengwa, Judith Buzuzi, Emmanuel Eventhough Nyamusa, Margaret Chingamora, Edmore Augustine Mugwagwa Ndudzo and Luke Taurai Buka. President Mugabe also appointed Mr Danisile Sibanda Hikwa as the secretary of the Commission recently.