December 31, 2003

400 Farms repossessed

At least 200.000 hectares of land (about 400 farms) have so far been recovered by the Presidential Land Implementation Committee from multiple farm owners. The farms had been taken by people who already owned land and would be given to "deserving people", the chairman of the Presidential Land Implementation Committee, John Nkomo, who is also the Minister of Special Affairs in the President's Office, said. He illustrated that chiefs were the overseers of the programme and were being urged to be transparent and strictly adhere to the laid down procedures. He said in some cases land was not demarcated and this differed from each province and the committee would correct the anomalies.

The committee has already visited all the country's provinces except Midlands which the team is still expected to tour. It is after the Midlands tour that the committee would meet and assess the situation nationally using the data collected from all the country's provinces. President Mugabe recently set up the committee to co-ordinate the implementation of recommendations of the Presidential Land Review Committee. Chaired by Cde Nkomo, the committee comprises the Minister of State for the Land Reform Programme in the President's Office Cde Flora Bhuka and a national inspectorate consisting of the defence forces, the police and the President's Office. Before, President Mugabe had called for a strict adherence to the one-man-one-farm policy while admitting that top officials had been given more than one farm in contravention of that policy and ordered them to return the additional properties. (The Herald, Harare)

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