Lands committee public hearings start
THE Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture and Irrigation Development yesterday started holding public hearings on the Land Commission Bill, as the country moves towards weeding out multiple farm owners.
The Clerk of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Chokuda, said the public hearings on the Bill would move to Bulawayo on Thursday.
“The Portfolio Committee on Lands, Agriculture and Irrigation Development will hold public hearings on the Land Commission Bill from August 1 to 6. The committees will be divided into two groups and will cover various areas,” said Mr Chokuda in a statement.
According to the schedule, the first team started in Harare at Parliament’s Senate Chamber and is expected to be at the Banket Sports Club today. The team will proceed to Vungu Rural District Council in Gweru tomorrow.
On Thursday, the hearings will be held at Iminyela Hall in Bulawayo.
On Friday, the team will be at Matetsi Hall in Hwange. Their last public hearing will be at Mzingwane Farmers Hall in Umzingwane District.
The second team is expected to be at Dandamera Hall today before proceeding to Wedza Rural District Council tomorrow.
On Thursday the team will be at Beit Hall in Dangamvura suburb, Mutare before its last hearing at Masvingo Hall in Masvingo.
Mr Chokuda urged members of the public to attend the hearings but warned them against wearing political party regalia at the meetings.
“The public, interested groups and organisations are invited to attend these hearings. Please note that persons wearing military uniforms, signs of ranks, flags or badges and political regalia will not have access to the public hearings,” said Mr Chokuda.
He said written submissions could also be sent to Parliament.
In terms of Section 297 of the Constitution, the land commission will conduct periodic audits of agricultural land, investigate as well as determine complaints and disputes regarding the supervision, administration and allocation of agricultural land.
More than 400,000 families benefited from the agrarian reform programme which gave landless black people a chance to own land.
Recently, President Mugabe warned farmers, especially A2 farmers, that those taking land as a status symbol would lose it.
The Government’s policy also does not allow multiple land ownership, but seeks to promote the one-familyone-farm framework.
Mr Kennedy Chokuda