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'Whites on Zimbabwe farms are entitled to be there,' says Minister

by Staff reporter
29 Dec 2023 at 07:05hrs | Views
MATABELELAND North Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Richard Moyo yesterday said Government will decisively deal with criminals who are in the habit of illegally occupying private land in violation of the country's laws.

Minister Moyo's sentiments follow the arrest of three suspects for illegally settling in a horticulture farm in Umvutsha under Umguza District on the outskirts of Bulawayo.

Minister Moyo said Government has been made aware of attempts to illegally occupy the property.

He said in terms of the law, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is sole authority responsible for land allocation.

"The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is the one that is responsible for settling people. The Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka is the only one who signs offer letters," said Minister Moyo.

"We will not allow people to violate the law anymore. The fast track land reform programme was completed a long time ago. The whites on farms are entitled to be there and we are processing offer letters."

Minister Moyo commended the police for the arrest, saying criminals should be brought to book. He noted that some criminals were abusing the name of the ruling Zanu-PF party in their attempt to commit crimes.

"We have engaged the security agents to arrest all those who parcel land illegally. There are some three people who were initially arrested," Minister Moyo.

"There are criminals who are not sent by any office and they should not lie that they are doing it on behalf of Zanu-PF. The ruling party is not involved in any land grabbing, the fast track land reform was done in the early 2000s and is now over."

Minister Moyo said the district and provincial lands committees are responsible for the distribution of land.

He also warned traditional leaders against illegally settling of people.

Section 282 of the Constitution stipulates that traditional leaders have a responsibility to manage communal lands and to protect the environment.

There is also the Communal Lands Act meant to operationalise the provisions of the Constitution in Section 4, which vests powers in the President as the sole authority to permit occupation of land in accordance with the provisions of the Act. Last week, Zanu-PF suspended five Mutare District Co-ordination Committee members for alleged indiscipline and illegal parcelling out of land in the Gimboki area of Mutare using the ruling party's name.

The suspended five were Mutare DCC chairman Binali Yard and executive members Brian Marange, Tawanda Ndawe, Webster Mudzimwa and Trust Matimba.

They were arrested last week by a team of detectives from the police CID Anti-Corruption Unit and CID Homicide from Harare.

They are facing charges of contravening Section 24 (1) as read with Section 24 (4) of the Regional Town and Country Planning Act, over unlawfully carrying out development without permission or alternatively criminal trespass under the criminal code.

They were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mutare provincial magistrate, Mr Tendai Mahwe who remanded them in custody to today.

Source - The Chronicle