New land permits for A1 farmers

HARARE - All land permits issued by district administrators (DA) are now null and void, a Cabinet minister has said.

Douglas Mombeshora, minister of Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement, told a news conference yesterday that the DA’s office will no longer be handling land distribution.
He said the letters issued by the DA will be cancelled and replaced by the permanent document issued by his ministry.

“In the past, before we came up with this permit, there were various letters that were issued at the district level by the DA which falls under the ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development and as such we had no control over them,” Mombeshora said adding that, “It created a lot of challenges and we realised that at times the district administrator would just unilaterally issue land without the concurrence of the district lands committee.”

Mombeshora said the document issued by the DA was just a letter that was not uniform but varied from district to district in the form it was designed.

He highlighted that the permit, much like the 99-year lease, gives land ownership to the recipient as it is for an indefinite period.

He emphasised that for an A1 permit to be issued, there has to be a farm lay-out which clearly stipulates the different plots that each beneficiary will have.

“There have to be clear demarcations for farming land and grazing pastures,” he said.
Mombeshora said those wishing to borrow money from banks and financial institutions can do so depending on what requirements the banks want.

“For financial institutions, it is now their prerogative. However, they can consider giving the person money because the A1 recipient will have a permanent place and proof of ownership of land,” he said.

Among benefits of the A1 permit is that it is subject to inheritance laws, making women in polygamous marriages to be liable to be equal beneficiaries of the land.

Since the land reform started in 2000, A1 farmers did not have ownership documents, a situation which created challenges for the farmers and the ministry.

Comments (2)

There is no land or agricultural policy.Everything is done haphazardly at the whims of politburo.The country is operating on auto-pilot.A lease is a lease fullstop and nothing else. No financial institution will lend will ever lend money on something that is voidable at law.Without title deeds this programme is crap.

Guranyanga - 1 July 2014

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