Zim land commission starts assessing farms
THE Zimbabwe Land Commission, which was recently appointed by President Mugabe, has started assessing farms in all the provinces to ensure accountability, transparency and fairness in land distribution as well as curbing multiple farm ownership.
Addressing political parties, churches and members of the public during a constitutional advocacy outreach meeting in Gweru on Friday, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the commission was moving in all provinces conducting land audit and assessing farms.
The Acting President said Government was taking the issue of multiple farm ownership seriously as it was a misnomer that ought to be addressed as a matter of urgency. “President Mugabe recently appointed a nine-member Land Commission which is going province by province auditing the land assessing that the beneficiaries of the land reform have the stipulated farm sizes corresponding with the regions in which they were resettled.
“As we deliberate, the Land Commission has already started to execute their mandate,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said all farmland acquired by Government during the land reform programme is owned by the State, adding that multiple farm owners will soon lose land to Government before it is redistributed to other beneficiaries.
“All agricultural land that was acquired during the land reform or was identified for such purpose before the commencement of this Constitution continues to be vested in the State and no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition except for improvements effected on it before acquisition,” he said.
He said all political parties should promote peace and unity in the country and shun violence and tribal politics “which is retrogressive to the development of the country”.
“Zimbabwe unlike other countries is a unitary state which has one national flag, one coat of arms and one national anthem. I was telling people yesterday (on Thursday in Bulawayo) that regardless of our political affiliation you should preach the unitary state of Zimbabwe. If you are a politician, you also tell the people the significance of our national flag and our national anthem,” he said.
Cde Mnangagwa said Government had made inroads towards the reproduction of the new Constitution into all the official 18 languages.
“Government has made great inroads towards the reproduction of the new Constitution into all the vernacular languages. I’m glad to report that we have now abridged versions of the Constitution in Ndebele, Shona, Tonga, Chewa, Sotho, Kalanga, Venda and Braille. To date we have caused the reproduction of over 500 000 copies of the Constitution and 350 abridged versions. We also have 5 000 copies of the Constitution in Braille for the benefit of those who are visually impaired,” he said.
Meanwhile, Justice, legal and Parliamentary Affairs Permanent Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza has warned traditional chiefs against undermining the authority of the magistrates court as they serve as their immediate supervisors in as far as the judiciary system was concerned.
Responding to a question by Chief Chirumhanzu of Chirumanzu pertaining to the jurisdiction of chiefs in the judicial hierarchy, Mrs Mabhiza said traditional courts were not sovereign and their judgments have to be assessed by magistrates.
She said anyone aggrieved by the traditional chief’s ruling has the right to approach the magistrate courts for reprieve. “In the hierarchical system of the judiciary at the bottom there are the traditional courts that are presided over by our chiefs. There are also procedures of appeals regarding some of the judgments you pass in your courts. Those are assessed at the magistrate’s court and whatever the magistrate says it is passed to the higher court which is the High Court then to the Supreme Court then to the Constitutional court,” she said.
Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa