The government last Friday announced that the country is almost running out of land for resettlement purposes but there is hope that some of it will be availed when the land audit is completed. The Minister of Land and Rural Resettlement, Douglas Mombeshora, also announced that the government wants to make land bankable and transferable so that those who do not want it can leave it.
Speaking in Shangani at the launch of a new conservation area at Jabula Safari, the Minister said the government was aware that some people who benefited from the land reform programme were not utilising it.
“Tough luck to those who need to be resettled because land is almost parcelled out. We however, hope that when we do the audit we may be able to pick the land which is either not being properly used or was got for speculative purposes,” said the Minister.
He said government’s long term plan was to make land bankable and transferable so that those who do not want land can actually leave it. Minister Mombeshora said the outstanding issue of the land commission will be completed within the next two months paving the way for the land audit. He said the government was working on surveying new farms which have just been acquired.
“We’re looking at the issue of surveying new farms which we’ve just acquired and last year we recruited 15 more qualified surveyors in addition to the four that we had as well as 17 surveying technicians to be able to do the work,” he said.
The government is now in the process of acquiring the surveying equipment to speed up the exercise.
“We’re working on acquiring GPS (Global Positioning System) equipment so that we do the work faster. In fact the new GPS system is 10 times faster than the old system that we have. The Treasury has also agreed to give us money to buy six sets of the GPS and this will speed up the surveying,” said the Minister.-Chronicle