Destroying Homesteads Is Difficult But Must Be Done – Kasukuwere

Self-exiled former ZANU PF political commissar, Saviour Kasukuwere, has urged the Government to review the Communal Lands Act so that traditional leaders, councillors and land officers work in sync to prevent the sprouting of illegal settlements across the country.

The former Local Government Minister also said while “it is not an easy task to preside over the demolition of homesteads”, if it is not done, chaos will continue unabated.

Kasukuwere made the remarks after the Government launched operation, “No To Land Barons and Illegal Settlements on Land” which has resulted in the arrest of 3 775 people as of 12 February 2024. He posted on X:

A holistic review of the Communal Lands Act is now imperative to arrest the chaos we are witnessing.

Unplanned settlements have cropped up everywhere and because of corruption, the situation is truly out of control.

The state should move swiftly to align the land authorities, from the Village Head, Chief, Land Officers, Councillors, the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Local Government.

There are a raft of acts that regulate the land and more often than not, they don’t speak to each other hence the chaos.

The then Ministry of Cooperatives, Rural District and Urban authorities all have a responsibility to administer the land.

Hundreds of villagers are facing eviction from their ancestral lands for allegedly occupying gazetted land without lawful authority.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), some of the villagers have been in occupation of their land for more than 40 years and made tremendous improvements to their land.

Kasukuwere called upon the Cabinet to urgently set up a committee to review existing laws and harmonise them. He said:

I suggest that the Cabinet urgently sets up a committee to review the legal instruments at hand and harmonise them.

Secondly, identify and plan how the affected families can be assisted and resettled legally.

I need not remind you of the need to give appropriate title to citizens to avoid the chaos we are seeing.

The road ahead is littered with huge obstacles for the Ministry and they must communicate effectively for society to appreciate their intentions.

Kasukuwere, however, did not condemn the demolition of villagers’ homes, a development that is taking place in the middle of the rainy season. He said:

I feel for the Minister of Local Govt at present because it is not an easy task to preside over the demolition of homesteads and exposing vulnerable children and elders. On the other hand, if it’s not done, the chaos will continue.

Destroying a homestead is a difficult undertaking for any leader. In the absence of a clearly defined process that citizens can follow should they require land, the pain and chaos will be with us for some time to come.



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