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Letters to the editor


Restoration of land title is the answer

A REPORT in the NewsDay edition of June 28 titled Mr President, Those who benefitted should pay, refers. The writer was spot on. He is absolutely right.

Land reform beneficiaries should pay for the improvements on farms or land they were allocated.

The entire bill should go to the beneficiaries on a case-by-case basis after proper commercial valuations of the properties.

Those who have failed to be farmers, or do not want to be farmers, must vacate commercial farmland.

Evidence suggests that over 60% of resettled farmers are in this category, with a good number having already passed on.

This should make the exercise a lot cheaper than feared, as some white farmers will get back their otherwise idle or underutilised farms.

A revolving mortgage fund could be sufficient capital to conclude the land reform exercise’s legacy issues, in the process unlocking over $10 billion locked up in the dead asset that is currently A1 and A2 commercial farmland. The restoration of land titling is what the agriculture finance industry has been waiting for.

This policy reversal is, therefore, the right reform exercise.

Congratulations are due to government for swallowing its pride, and rolling out processes to compensate the ex-farmers so as to bring finality to the sore issue. The nation needed that admission to go forward. Munhuwei

No one should be turned away from COVID-19 testing centres

IT is 12 midnight and I have all the symptoms of COVID-19. Zimbabwe is battling with the COVID-19 pandemic, one of my employees tested positive for the coronavirus.

The fact that we were in contact on a regular basis, I made a decision to get tested.

Ignorantly, I joined the queue and when I got to the payment area, I was advised that all payments should be in hard currency and that did not bother me.

I said to them that we can swipe using the black market rate and they said I should buy the United States dollars on the black market.

I further said to them all I wanted was to be tested to save my life and they advised me that they wanted US dollars, not swipe.

I then suggested that they could even use the exchange rate of US$1 to $200 since I had the symptoms of COVID-19.

The healthcare staff at this particular centre (name witheld) were not bothered at all, all they wanted were US dollars.

I pleaded with the gentleman advising him all I wanted was to save my life, but he could not budge.

Please can you advise me if it is:

  • Government policy that COVID-19 testing should be paid for in US dollars only in a country where there is a shortage of foreign currency?
  • Is it allowed for testing centres to turn away a potential COVID-19 spreader without testing the individual?

It should be mandatory that no one should be turned away from testing centres if they advise and prove that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and can prove it.

It should be mandatory that all testing centres should take payment in whatever currency.

I am extremely disappointed by the kind of service I got and hope this will be the first and the last.

I have copied the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Finance minister and Health ministry to immediately address this pathetic and unacceptable practice. Jacob Kudzayi Mutisi


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