10-year-olds get land | The Herald

via Land allocated to 10-year-olds | The Herald.  10  June  2014 by  Tendai Mugabe

Government has unearthed irregularities in the allocation of farms during the land reform programme, as it emerged that some children as young as 10 years of age benefited from the programme.
It has also been noted that the land reform programme was marred with double allocation of farms due to a mix up of names.

Lands and Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora told The Herald yesterday that a preliminary audit on the database of the beneficiaries done by his ministry revealed that some undeserving people benefited.

He said a comprehensive audit to uproot the irregularities was on cards and it required US$35 million.

“What we have been doing is to take a batch of ID numbers to the Office of the Registrar-General for them to give us details of the beneficiaries, including the date of birth to cross-check with what we have in our database,” said Minister Mombeshora.

“We are also discovering a number of anomalies. You know our policy, we do not give somebody land who is less than 21 years, but we are getting people with 10 years, 12 years, owning plots and that could explain why some plots are vacant.

“Some people acquired farms on behalf of their children and used the correct ID numbers, but lied on the dates of birth.”

Minister Mombeshora said they took the ID numbers to the Registrar Generals Office because Government used them to generate offer letters.

In light of that, Minister Mombeshora said, Government would repossess the land that was acquired fraudulently.

In some cases, he said, the ministry was given wrong names of farms resulting in double allocation.

“We want to go and verify that information when we do the audit to say which farm was sub-divided, what are the correct details of the farms and get the correct names as was on the title deeds and verifying with what we have used in the ministry because we have seen some errors and those errors have caused problems of double allocation,” he said.

Minister Mombeshora said once one made a mistake in the spelling of the name of a farm, the computer would pick that as a different farm and it would be allocated to another person.

On subletting of farms, Minister Mombeshora said such practices were illegal although Government tolerated approved joint venture agreements.

“Sub-leasing is not allowed at all,” he said. “We allow joint ventures and contract farming.”

Minister Mombeshora said the contract farming arrangement involved provision of inputs by a contractor to a farmer and in turn the farmer would sell the produce to the contractor at market rates after deduction of production costs.

He said joint ventures should be done with the approval of Government to safeguard farmers from any form of prejudice.

Minister Mombeshora said he would soon present a proposal to Cabinet and the Zanu-PF Politburo seeking to rent out State land.

“We are making proposals for land rentals saying you cannot use State land for free,” he said. “We use that money to do the inspections, the evaluations and also to do the audits. If we have done our maths correctly we will be able to raise $22 million per year.

“We have asked Treasury to allow us to retain 60 percent of that money.”

There have been concerns over underutilisation of land and leasing of farms, resulting in some discrediting Government’s noble programme.

Allegations of multiple farm ownership have been raised and the Government is in the process of fishing out those who received more than one farm.

After the land reform programme in 2000, Government conducted a land audit led by former Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Charles Utete which recommended that the National Land Board be empowered to ensure that land allocated to the people was fully utilised.

The Utete Report further recommended that failure over a defined period to use the land productively, especially in regard to the A2 model should result in cancellation of leases, and the re-allocation of the land to those willing and able to make use of it.



  • comment-avatar
    The Mind Boggles 8 years ago

    Probably find some of the ten year olds are more capable than the war vets!!! let them try they can’t be any worse than the current crop of farmers

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    Antonio delgado 8 years ago

    Stupid idiots screw up everything they get involved in, couldn’t organise a pissup in a brewery…..

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    He needs $35Million to sort out the mistakes in his database? What planet does he live on? There’s this new labor saving device that is very speedy, only needs one operator and costs very little to use. It’s called – the computer!

    There should be no reason to have to “take a batch of ID numbers to the Register General.” The Register General’s database is the government’s database and not his to parse out when he wishes to. The Lands and Resettlement Ministry and all other government departments and ministries should have 24/7 access to that information, and if the Register General was doing his job properly that list would be updated daily for all government use.

    If the RG database was up to date and accurate then it would cost nothing for the Lands And Resettlement Ministry to verify all land recipients in no time.

    I suspect the RG is being cagey about parsing out this information because if he did, it would open the Pandora’s Box of the Voters Roll which is apparently a state secret, like Mugabe’s health and what became of the diamond money.

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    saundy 8 years ago

    Mombeshora should know that you cannot legitimise something that is illegal in the first place. Theft is when you take someone’s possessions without their permission and that is what was done in the so called land reform programme. That they are only finding out these anomalies after nearly 15 years later speaks to their incompetence. You can’t even steal properly.

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    Tongoona 8 years ago

    These revelations are but the tip of an iceberg. Many deserving people were left out of the Land Resettlement because the entire program was made a ZANU PF baby. Members of ZANU PF are much fewer than the land allocated to ZANU PF people. Because land was more than the ZANU PF people, the ZANUs decided to fake demand by multiple allocations to cronies and children. My children were all adults in 2000 but non of them was allocated land after applying for it because they were not ZANU PF members.
    On the question of multiple farm ownership, what is Mombeshora going to do with the first family and some people in high offices who are multiple farm owners? They among themselves own nearly half the country. The First Lady has been amassing land and according to press reports her farms stretch from Westgate Roundabout to Mazowe Hotel and across Mazowe river to Smithfield, Spelenken and Manzou farms including Mazowe Dam. She is the main violater of one family one farm policy.

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    Arrest them and take away the land

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    Daddy Chikos 8 years ago

    Zanu pf does not have the will and capacity to fight corruption.It is about getting allowances. U want to have a number of audits piling up without any corrective measures being taken.

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    $35 million for an audit? $34 million for the deep pockets and $1 million for the audit. And who will believe an audit by Zanu PF anyway?

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    Patriotic 8 years ago

    $35 MILLION TO DO WHAT? That is craziness. Why would they need such an amount to carry out an audit?