Source: ‘Illicit land deals scuttle investment’ | The Herald April 13, 2019
Leroy Dzenga Herald Correspondent
Harare Metropolitan province has run out of land for investment projects owing to illicit land deals, a Government official has said. In an interview with The Herald, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Harare Metropolitan Province Senator Oliver Chidawu said corrective measures have to be taken fast if investment is to be secured.
“My biggest problem right now is that people want to invest, but there is no land,” said Minister Chidawu. “Land has been taken away by the barons, there is absolutely no land. Some has been taken by the city and is being hoarded.
“Harare has no land, so where do I put the investors? I have three investors, two of them local and one foreign. They have serious money, but there is no land. A group of specialist doctors approached me saying they intend to open a specialist hospital to stop people from flying out to be treated by their own students who are now specialist doctors elsewhere, but there is no land.
“We have to reverse some shady deals to free up land for investments.”
President Mnangagwa on March 21 extended the duration of the commission probing the unlawful sale of urban land by an extra nine months.
A Government Gazette published last week confirming the extension read: “Now, therefore, under and by virtue of the powers vested in the President as aforesaid, I do hereby, by this proclamation amend the proclamation published in SI 102 of 2017 by deletion in paragraph (of the words with an option of an extension of a further three months” and substitution with the words “with an option of an extension of a further nine months’.
“Given under my hand and the public seal of Zimbabwe at Harare this twenty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen.”
Zimbabwe has been trying to undo illegal land deals done by those with political connections in the previous regime.
Government is seeking finality to the matter as some of the land being held by barons is earmarked for investment processes.