By Anyway Yotamu
The government has put in place an Implementation Committee to implement recommendations by the Commission of Inquiry on urban state land.
On 1 February 2018, President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed a Commission of Inquiry into the matter of sale of state land in and around urban areas since 2005 in terms Section 2 (1) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07]. The Commission conducted hearings and field visits in all the ten Provinces of the country. A report of the Commission on the findings and recommendations was produced in two parts: the Main Report and Provincial Reports for the ten provinces.
Addressing a press conference in Harare on Tuesday 30th of June 2020, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs. Virginia Mabhiza said, “By operation of law, the Commission’s tenure ended on 31 October 2019. On 9 December 2019, the Commission submitted its report to the President in terms of Section 7 (c) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act and Paragraph f (vi) of SI 102 of 2017 which places an obligation on the Commission to report to the President in writing, the result of the Inquiry,” Mabhiza said.
She added that, “The Terms of Reference of the Implementation Committee shall be to:
Coordinate and work closely with relevant institutions to facilitate further investigation and litigation of matters recommended for prosecution by the Inquiry.
Identify, advise and facilitate laws and policy review on urban development matters in line with recommendations by the Inquiry.
Advise and avail appropriate remedies for aggrieved beneficiaries and other actors in urban state land administration.
Formulate strategies to ensure that developers with outstanding debts pay intrinsic land value to government.
Produce periodic reports for submission to Cabinet through relevant policy coordination pathways”, said Mabhiza.
The implementation Committees will be deployed to provinces in due course and shall be working with carefully chosen officials from the provinces and districts which include the Zimbabwe Republic Police, officials from the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, Ministry responsible for Lands, Ministry of Housing and Social Amenities, Prosecutors and the judiciary.
She also noted that , “we have noted that some actors have taken interest in enforcing the recommendations on prosecuting those who might have been fingered by the Report for illegally parcelling out state land. While their efforts as are commended, it is crucial that we adopt a holistic approach in implementing recommendations to ensure that we restore urban housing to a world class status characterised by planned settlements with all requisite amenities such as water, tarred roads, sewer and recreational facilities and to achieve this, it is crucial that a correctional agenda meant to come up with a well-coordinated urban state land administration system aligned to the national developmental blue print, the TSP and Vision 2030 is achieved, as a result, Government will soon be rallying our Implementation Committee so that it commences work in provinces,” said Mabhiza.