White farmers urged to get offer letters
Govt has appealed to white commercial farmers who were spared the ax during the fast-track land redistribution program to formally approach the Lands ministry and obtain offer letters in order to acquire bankable 99-year leases.
Addressing Mashonaland West farmers yesterday, Lands and Agriculture minister Perrance Shiri said: “If you are occupying a farm and you don’t have an offer letter, go (and) get an offer letter. The reason why the government has allowed you to remain on the piece of land up to today is that they want you. They recognized the role you are playing, so go (and) get an offer letter.”
“There should be no other considerations to say you are not on the list. Which list? The (Zanu-PF) party representatives recommended some farmers to remain. I am a member of the Zanu-PF politburo. So, we are saying all those who are on the land who do not have offer letters, please, do us a favor so that you don’t unnecessarily get inconvenienced,” Shiri added.
Turning to the issue of illegal settlers, Shiri said they should be evicted.
“We have tasked Provincial Affairs ministers, using their Joint Operational Command team when applicable, to ensure that illegal settlers are removed and those who are genuinely in need of the land they should be resettled once land has been identified,” he said .
Shiri expressed concern over vast tracts of land lying idle in various parts of the country and urged the landowners to fully utilise the resource or risk evictions.
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