via A1 farmers ordered to hand back offer letters | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell November 12, 2013
Small scale farmers who received property under the ZANU PF-led land grab have been told to hand back their original offer letters, with the government apparently now trying to make sense of Zimbabwe’s chaotic land ownership system.
According to the Lands and Rural Resettlement Ministry, the old letters given to beneficiaries of the A1 land redistribution scheme will be replaced by new ones, with more detail about land ‘ownership’.
Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora last week reportedly said the new offer letters would contain more data compared to the previous ones.
The ZANU PF land grab campaign saw larger, profitable commercial properties being seized and parceled out to high level party officials and cronies.
A1 famers on the other hand were given smallhold properties.
But with the ZANU PF patronage system being the main decider of who received land, there has been no clear list of who was rewarded with land.
At the same time, none of the new land ‘owners’ hold the title deeds to any of the properties they received, after ZANU PF claimed that all land seized from the original owners was ‘state owned’.
A comprehensive land audit has been repeatedly called for, not only to uncover the partisan basis that the land redistribution has been based on, but also to make sense of who the beneficiaries have been.
The directive from the government to reissue the A1 offer letters is reportedly part of this attempt to make sense of the chaos, with the Lands Ministry stating that the new offer letters are expected to improve its database.