via Gvt to repossess farms from land lessors Sunday, 27 October 2013 Sunday Mail
Government intends to repossess all farms being leased to former white commercial farmers by some beneficiaries of the country’s hugely successful land reform programme.
There are indications that some new farmers are sub-leasing their plots to former white farmers who undertake to pay for the lease with a percentage of the annual income they get from using the land in question.
Lands and Rural Resettlement Minister Dr Douglas Mombeshora last week disclosed that his ministry was looking into the issue and was quick to highlight that the sub-letting of State land to former commercial farmers was illegal and against Government policy.
“There have been reports reaching our offices that a number of beneficiaries of the land reform programme are currently doing some form of combined farming with white farmers who were ejected from those farms during the land reform exercise,” he said.
“We do not have the exact number of the beneficiaries who are sub-letting their land at the moment, but what I can tell you is that this is something happening in all the provinces countrywide.
“As we speak we have ordered all our chief land officers countrywide to compile the names of those engaged in these so-called sub-letting deals. After that exercise we as the ministry will move in the identified areas and repossess the land since these beneficiaries are violating Government-stipulated policies,” said Dr Mombeshora.
Dr Mombeshora also revealed that his ministry has also ordered provincial land committees around the country to list down the names of people who have settled on State land without offer letters.
“We have established that the current on-going land disruptions were a result of people moving onto a piece of land without offer letters. This is a matter we are closely looking into.
“People should not move onto a piece of land without the nod from Government. Hence, we expect to address these land disruptions by giving people offer letters which give them security to settle without disruptions from any individual,” he said.