Commission hunts for Matabeleland land barons

A COMMISSION of inquiry into the allocation and use of urban land in Matabeleland North and South opens today to shed light on how land barons illegally parcelled out State land in the two provinces.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed a six-member commission led by High Court judge Justice Tendai Uchena to clamp down on land barons controlling and allocating vast tracts of land in and around urban areas.

The commission reports to Mnangagwa.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Virginia Mabiza, who is also the commission’s secretary, last week said the probe team will hold public hearings in Plumtree and Gwanda in Matabeleland South and in Victoria Falls and Lupane in Matabeleland North till November 23.

“The commission of inquiry into the sale of State land in and around urban areas since 2005 wishes to advise all beneficiaries of State land that the shall be conducting public hearings in mat South and North provinces from 05 to 23 November 2018,” Mabiza said in a statement.

She said the commission seeks to investigate “people who bought State land handed over for urban development, double or multiple allocations, people who have been allocated space meant for the building of schools, clinics, roads, and recreational sites, among others. People who have been displaced or prejudiced in any way by the re-allocation, re-surveying and/or re-pegging of stands
“People of the above category who have been threatened, harassed, victimised or forced to pay subscriptions/rentals or to vacate stands against their will and without due process and any other information pertaining to illegal state land transactions known to them.”

Mabiza said the commission will inspect properties in Huntington and Matendele Extension in Plumtree, while in Gwanda the probe team will visit Doelfontein, remainder of Doelfointein, Garakai/Hlalani Kuhle and Judds properties.

In Matabeleland North, the team will inspect properties in Masue and Ndengwenge in Victoria Falls and Lupane respectively.