Govt urged to repossess under-utilised land

CALLS to repossess land from farmers who are under-utilising it have intensified with Mashonaland Central Senator Martha Muronzi (Zanu PF) suggesting that a commission be set up to chuck out non-performing farmers.


This comes amid reports that the country’s food situation is currently dire with about 248 000 metric tonnes of maize left in the country for both livestock and human consumption, a figure which includes the Grain Marketing Board’s strategic grain reserves of 152 000 metric tonnes.

Muronzi, while contributing to a motion on the declining socio-economic conditions in the country, said the under-performing farmers were making a mockery of President Robert Mugabe and First Lady Grace, who always encouraged full utilisation of land.

“I have realised that people who were allocated land on commercial farms cannot fully utilise it, and when we talk about this let us not be political or point fingers,” Muronzi said.

“I recommend that the government sets up a commission which will go around farming areas to check on who is utilising the land to best capacity and who is not doing well on the farm. The poor farmer should be removed from the land and substituted by a capable farmer who will be able to feed the nation.”

She suggested that farmers found to be incompetent should be re-allocated land in rural areas.

“I was in Macheke and I realised that there is a lot of land occupied by farmers who lack the necessary machinery and they are using draught power, which is oxen or donkeys. They cannot go far if they use such methods, and in this respect government should assist farmers and encourage the use of machinery in farming,” the senator said.

Her proposals also came amid media reports that Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development deputy minister (cropping) Davis Marapira this week warned beneficiaries of the land reform programme against selling irrigation equipment availed to them by the government.

He was said to have disclosed that some of the beneficiaries were “cannibalising” the irrigation equipment and selling it.
“We are in the process of investigating these culprits and we will prosecute them through the Lands and Rural Resettlement ministry,” Marapira was quoted by the State broadcaster.

In September, Minister of State for Manicaland Province Mandi Chimene also threatened to cut the farm sizes of those who were failing to utilise their vast pieces of land in view of the overwhelming list of people in need of land.

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  1. The Senator has not researched why farmers are failling. People lost properties to banks because of these farms. Look at why most farmers are failling, do compare with those that are fronting whites. The gvt is to blame for all the losses that the farmers suffered. Fix the economy first. Create markets instead of threatening farmers because they can not continue loosing their money and houses that were bought before land reform. Have you not seen the bad weather and lack of markets. Senator is just talking like that because she is getting a free sitting allowance that she was voted into office by the very farmers. There is nowhere in the world where farmers are not supported by gvt. I have never seen a single farmer doing very well, some are trying yes but we have others who build infrastracture on their farms anticipating to get their investment back. They have been let down by poor governance. Before you leaders can repossess the land, you need to resign/ get fired because you do not have a clue of how the fix the economy. There other pple who can perform better in gvt. Hon. senator is getting too comfortable and be reminded 2018 is just around the corner. That type of thinking is retrogressive and will cause civil strife. Those that may come will fail the same way if the causes of failure are not addressed. We dont want confusion in our country. Everyone can not be a farmer. Those who got land got it and others should go into industry. Capacitate the farmers and you will see wonders. How can farmer who is not serious ceed his title deeds to the their houses to do farming. That is a sign of seriousness. Senator looks not informed or is just trigger happy for nothing. Where are farming senator , i would be happy to see what you are doing if you are not fronting a white man. Most of these farmers are owing banks and they need to work on the land and pay back the loans. That period is between 5 to 10 years. Wake up senator.

    1. Luke. Those who are utilising the farms will be spared. Its those idle farms which needs to be looked into.
      Government is dishing out inputs every year where are they going. Honestly if people take farming as a business by now there should be some degree of self reliance considering those farms were fully equipped and productive at the point of invasion.
      So asking for government help perennially is rubbish.
      As we speak Grace is giving out tractors and all.
      Brand new irrigation equipment is being stripped and parts sold in Harare.
      Honestly for how long should this government ignore other sectors and keep on sponsoring farms where there is no result.

  2. 15 years after “land reform programme”, we hear regurgitation of what proponents of this nonsense said at that time.

    If this was a proper programme, we would have all sorts of metrics, who was allocated what land, utilisation level etc but it was inconvenient to get it right at the time. The excitement was racially motivated and the main “success” then was “we have regained our land”.

    The fact are saddening, 4000 mainly white commercial farmers fed this country so the exent that it was referred to as the bread basket of Africa at some point. Now we have thousands of people whose basic knowledge of tilling the land, never mind managing that perocess, is very suspect “owning” the bulk of the land and we have starvation facing us now.

    Was the “land reform programme” a success? Obviously not. What will ZPF do about this now? Made is again under the spotlight, asleep on the job (normal in ZPF “leadership”). Last time he was surveying crops from the air and claiming every green patch was maize or something like that…

    Hameno sure. Maiti kurima hamubvire.

  3. CE, ce, ce. Vanhu veZANU, chamakadya chapfuka. Stolen property cannot give you profit. At least you are admitting that this whole ‘land reform’ nonsense was a farce. Go back kumaruzevha where you can continue your peasant farming. Izvi handizvenyuba.

  4. Not surprising at all,during the fast track land reform programme,the requirement for one to access land was possession of a Zanu pf party card nothing else.This is the ultimate prize the country is paying now.The country has a lot of people with farming skills who could do wonders on the land, but were denied the chance because they were perceived as political incorrect.The country is to endure food shortages for the decades to come.

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