Source: Land Commission blames govt for stalling its programmes – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 25, 2017
THE Zimbabwe Land Commission has blamed inadequate government funding for stalling implementation of most of its programmes, including countrywide land use audits.
by VENERANDA LANGA
In a report tabled in Parliament last week by Lands minister Douglas Mombeshora, the commission said out of an approved budget of $567 138 for 2016, only $452 523 was received.
The commission’s core functions include conducting periodic audits of agricultural land, ensuring equitable access to holding and occupation of agricultural land, enforcement of any law restricting the amount of agricultural land that may be held by any person, fair compensation for agricultural land, and other duties as prescribed by the Constitution.
This year, the Zimbabwe Land Commission also submitted a $24,3 million budget bid on time, but the cash-strapped government seems to be struggling to fund it.
“The commission compiled a bid for 2017, and came up with a budget request of $24,3 million of which $16,3 million was for the comprehensive land audit programme, $5,1 million for recurrent expenditure, $2,9 million for capital expenditure and employment costs of $1,7 million,” part of the report read.
“The commission was given an expenditure target of only $580 000, to cover $440 000 for recurrent expenditure and $140 000 for capital expenditure. This resulted in a massive shortfall of $23,8 million, including the $16,3 million for land audit for which no allocation whatsoever was made.”
The commission also faces shortage of staff due to late approval of the structure by the Public Service Commission, lack of computers, printers, photocopiers, scanners, lack of Internet facilities, office space and inadequate operational vehicles.
To date, the commission has investigated 25 out of 40 complaints and disputes received despite financial, human resources and transport constraints.
The commission also wants decentralisation of its secretariat to enable farmers to easily access its services.