Land audit gets under way in Zim as govt seeks to address agrarian reform ‘injustices’ – report

Zimbabwe has reportedly started its land audit, as the southern African
country tries to address some of the problems encountered during its
controversial land reform programme.

According to the state-owned Herald newspaper, the Zimbabwe Land Commission
deployed teams of 60 enumerators in all eight farming provinces “for the
comprehensive agricultural land audit” set to begin on Monday.

The exercise was expected to end on November 24.

“We will also identify the challenges and constraints being faced by the
farmers in successfully addressing the agrarian reform agenda.

“We will also identify land utilisation patterns and optimal farming
activities which influence appropriate policies for increased agricultural
production, poverty alleviation and sustainable use of agricultural land,” Zimbabwe
Land Commission chairperson Tendai Bare was quoted as saying.

This came a few weeks after Agriculture Minister Perrance Shiri said that the
Zimbabwean government wanted to address “injustices” committed during land

Colonial land ownership imbalances

“Our government is firmly committed to a process of the need for
corrective measures to deal with the consequences of past injustices,” Shiri
was quoted as saying by Sunday Mail.

Shiri also, however, said it was important not to create “new injustices”.

“Our policy acknowledges the property
rights of existing land owners. It also recognises the legitimate demand for
justice from those who have been dispossessed or excluded,” he said.

Former president Robert Mugabe and the ruling  Zanu-PF party launched the land reforms in
2000, taking over white-owned farms to resettle landless blacks.

Mugabe said the reforms were meant to correct colonial land ownership

At least 4 000 white commercial farmers were evicted from their farms.

The land seizures were often violent, claiming the lives of several white
farmers during clashes with veterans of Zimbabwe’s 1970s liberation struggle.

Critics of the reforms have blamed the programme for low production on the
farms as the majority of the beneficiaries lacked the means and skills to work
the land.

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Publish date : 2018-10-22 09:19:37

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