MP says 99-year land leases must be bankable but not transferable


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Those are the issues we need to ask ourselves why it is like that. When we look at issues to do with the Land Commission, yes we are making sure that we protect, we put this law and institutions but we also need to go ahead as the Executive, as Government to say what are the other challenges that will come with the new farmer.  It is the absence of anchor institutions.  There are no anchor institutions at the moment, Mr. Speaker Sir.

If I buy a tractor and I am in Mutoko, if that tractor breaks down – Government has put in place the Brazil Mechanisation programmes – once that tractor breaks down, that is it.  There is no infrastructure.  You have to hire a lorry to transport that tractor from Mutoko all the way to Harare.  Those workshops which the former white farmers used to have in the rural areas are no longer there.  So, it is important that as we look at these laws, these anchor institutions that are pertinent to the success of agriculture are looked at including capacitating the support infrastructure, the agritex officials by ensuring that they are mobile in order to support this whole issue.

We are talking about the Land Commission because land is so important, that is why there is a Commission but land alone, if it remains furrow, it does not help anybody.  So, it is important that the Executive look around and once this is done, they should consider issues to do with the anchor institutions.

On the proposal which is coming as far as the land tax is concerned, if the $5 could be waived for now and be introduced after 2017 which hopefully, people are saying is going to be a good season.  Going backwards, it has been really a traumatic period for the majority of the farmers.  Mr. Speaker, I just thought I should add my voice and also ensure that the 99 year lease is accelerated.  I think most of the issues have been advanced by my colleagues.

It is important to ensure that the 99 year lease must be bankable but must not be freely transferable because the challenges are genuine.  It has happened in other countries that the land will eventually gravitate back to the people that we repossessed it from.  If there is going to be any transferability of land, it must be limited and the State must have control and the owner must not the prejudiced.  If it is to do with debt, once that debt is retired, the original owner must be given opportunity to own back that land.  Land is important to the people of Zimbabwe.  With those few comments, I thank you very much Mr. Speaker Sir.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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