The Zimbabwean government has decided to evict 500 illegal settlers in an effort to bring land back into productive use. The decision was reached at the southern African Country’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
Prior warnings were issued in August 2016 and October 2017, advising all illegal settlers to vacate any rural state land occupied and to return to their original homes, with the Minister of Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Perrance Shiri saying the government would not tolerate unplanned land occupation that compromises properly planned settlements and leads to the destruction of natural resources.
"Those occupying rural state land without lawful authority are committing a crime in terms of the Lands Consequential Provisions Act Chapter 20 Section 28. Members of the public should not be deceived by some individuals who encourage them to continue with illegal occupation of state land, claiming that they will protect them from eviction. No one else has the authority to allocate rural state land except my ministry.”
Meanwhile, the ruling party Zanu-PF has admitted that the country's controversial land reform programme, which it spearheaded, is fraught with corruption, while the absence of leases and security of ownership is hindering production in the agricultural sector.
In its Central Committee Report for the 17th Annual National People’s Conference, Zanu-PF’s Lands, Land Reform and Agriculture Department said success of the land reform programme was being hampered by acts of corruption in the Ministry of Lands, and the absence of leases to securitise ownership.
According to an article on fin24.com , some of these alleged corrupt activities include double allocations and vindictive withdrawal of offer letters to land beneficiaries.