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Government to hike land rentals


By Jairos Saunyama

Lands and Rural Resettlement minister Douglas Mombeshora has urged farmers to prepare for an upward review of land rentals as the cash-strapped government devises means to raise revenue.

Addressing the Zimbabwe Farmers’ Union (ZFU) annual congress at Hope Fay in Marondera yesterday, Mombeshora said farmers were not justified to complain that the current land rentals were exorbitant and urged them to, instead, brace for a hike in charges in the next two years.

He also warned those reneging in paying rentals, saying they risked losing their farms.

“Most of you manage a minimum of three tonnes (of maize) per hectare, multiplying by $390, you get more than a
$1 000 per hectare and we are asking you that out of that money, give $5 to the Lands ministry per hectare,” he said.

“If you cannot manage to do that, please leave that land and we will give it to others. We do not want to hear farmers complaining about the tax.

“So be prepared. After two or three years, we will review it upwards. But for the time being, the rates remain like that.”

In 2015, the government pegged new land rentals that saw A2 farmers paying $5 per hectare per annum and A1 farmers paying $15 per annum, including unit taxes that are channelled to rural district councils.
However, farmers have been claiming the taxes are too high.

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