Land audit: Multiple farm owners in panic mode, stampede to change ownership

Following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s expose on multiple farm ownership among ZANU PF bigwigs, culprits are in a rush to change ownership of their multiple farms in a bid to retain the land they currently own.

Mnangagwa revealed the issue of multiple farm ownership during a radio interview with a local radio station when he made indications to the effect that former president Robert Mugabe’s outspoken wife Grace owns 16 farms.

“The audit is still on-going and results will be made public, the briefing I have received is that only two provinces are left to complete the process.

“The main issue we have identified is the issue of multiple farm ownership especially among people in higher offices,” said Mnangagwa.

“One lady, Dr. Stop It, Stop It, has 16 farms,” he said.

 Mnangagwa’s revelation has triggered panic and Zim Morning Post has it on good authority that multiple farm owners in Matabeleland North are making a beeline to the district land offices to change ownership of the land .

“Multiple farm owners are busy changing ownership in a move that is defeating the whole purpose of the land audit.

“What they simply do is they change the names on the offer letters to their trusted relatives’ names and retain the farms,’ explained our source.

 The minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural   Resettlement Air Chief Marshal Perence Shiri last year wrote to ZANU PF member of parliament for Uzumba Simbaneuta Mudarikwa advising him that his farm in Marondera was to be seized as his offer letter was to be revoked.

The minister could however not be reached for a comment to explain government’s measures in light of the latest developments where multiple farm owners are circumventing the system and walking scot free.

His mobile phone went unanswered.

The Zimbabwe Land Commission  deployed teams of 60 enumerators in all eight farming provinces for the comprehensive agricultural land audit .

The audit teams will have identity particulars and farmers will not be asked to pay any money.

The exercise is being  carried out  simultaneously in all eight provinces

The audit is meant to identify land utilisation patterns and optimal farming activities which influence appropriate policies for increased agricultural productivity, poverty alleviation and sustainable utilisation of agricultural land.