LANDS and Rural Resettlement minister Herbert Murerwa yesterday told Senate that the country was facing an acute shortage of land surveyors, hence the delay in issuing out 99-year leases to newly resettled farmers.
REPORT BY VENERANDA LANGA
Murerwa made the remarks after Beitbridge senator Tambudzani Mohadi had questioned why government had not yet issued the leases.
“The challenge we face is that a lot of farms have been broken up into smaller pieces and it needs surveying and mapping as well as registering them,” Murerwa said.
“This process has taken a long time because this country has a few surveyors and we are constrained of resources for them.”
Murerwa said programmes to train surveyors were underway.
Most beneficiaries of the land reform programme have failed to obtain bank loans because they do not have bankable lease agreements.
Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development minister Joseph Made told Senate that around 16 000 to 17 000 livestock were lost due to drought and incessant rains received in most parts of the country.
Made said his ministry needed $7 million to tackle cattle diseases and for dipping.
He also said other regions were affected by the outbreak of the armyworm which he said was likely to affect crop yields.
“Small grains have also experienced challenges in terms of the armyworm in Masvingo and Matabeleland South with 70% of a total 27 000 hectares affected,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate passed the draft constitution with Matabeleland North Provincial Governor Thokozile Mathuthu describing it as “a draft that will replace the tattered Lancaster House Constitution which had suffered a lot of patches”.
Mathuthu also said chiefs would lobby for a “Yes” vote, but were likely to voice their concerns after the referendum when the Constitutional Bill is brought before Parliament.