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Mnangagwa mulls Land Commission Bill revision

by Staff reporter
15 Jan 2018 at 05:28hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has said he has not assented to the Land Commission Bill as Government is mulling revising the legislation to consider the role of chiefs in land matters.

Addressing traditional leaders at the Zanu-PF Convention Centre in Gweru, President Mnangagwa said the Bill had been submitted to his office but chiefs had expressed some reservations on the proposed law, thus delaying its signing into law.

The President did not state what the chiefs were opposed to in the Bill, but recently the President of the Chiefs Council Chief Fortune Charumbira told the Senate that chiefs want to be represented on the Land Commission, among others.

"You talked about the Land Commission Bill. It passed through the Lower House and it passed through the Senate, now it's at the President where I am so that I assent to it.

"I have not assented to it because there was a concern which came from Chief Charumbira and Chief Khumalo.

"They had a request so I have not signed the Bill so it is not yet law. I am waiting for a chance to meet the two chiefs and the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Local Government," said Mnangagwa.

The President said when he consulted on the issue, he was told that what the chiefs were asking for was unconstitutional.

He said there is a consideration to amend the Constitution to address the chiefs concerns.

"I will not sign the Bill into law until an agreement has been reached," said President Mnangagwa.

The National Assembly last month disregarded amendments to the Land Commission Bill made by the Senate and passed the proposed legislation to President Mnangagwa for assent without the chiefs proposals made in the Senate.

Traditional leaders, many of whom sit in the Senate, wanted to have authority over agricultural  land.

The Parliamentary Legal Committee (PLC) rejected attempts to give chiefs authority over agricultural land saying it was unconstitutional.

Moving a motion last month, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Deputy Minister David Marapira said proposed amendments made by Senate would not be taken on board.

Chief Charumbira said traditional leaders wanted the Bill amended to reflect their role in the management of agricultural land.

"When we looked at the Bill, we discovered that the chiefs are not represented in the Commission yet they are the custodians of the land.

"They are the ones who are dealing with land disputes in their respective jurisdictions but they are not represented in the Bill," Chief Charumbira said.

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Source - chronicle