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law on land awaits third reading
October 06, 2006
Land (Consequential Provisions) Bill, which seeks to punish
illegal farm invaders, passed through the second reading and committee
stages of Senate without amendments yesterday.
The Bill now
awaits its third reading.
to the debate during its committee stage, Non Constituency Senator
Aguy Clement Georgias expressed concern at section 6 of the Bill,
which seeks to validate offer letters issued to farmers by the State.
was concerned on what would become of those farmers whose offer
letters would have been withdrawn yet they could have borrowed money
from financial institutions.
He said there
were instances of more than two people with offer letters on one
farm and noted that there could be some problems if the person’s
offer letter is withdrawn when he happened to have got a loan from
Senator Mr Thabiso Ndlovu also expressed the same concern on the
implication of the same section, asking what would become of double
allocation on one farm.
But the Minister
of State for Indigenisation and Empowerment, Cde Samuel Mumbengegwi,
who is also leader of the Senate, said situations of double allocation
would be dealt with administratively by the relevant ministry.
will look into the matter and establish who is the legal owner.
does not preclude the minister from withdrawing an offer letter,"
said Cde Mumbengegwi who was steering the Bill in place of the Minister
of State for National Security, Lands, Land Reform and Resettlement,
Cde Didymus Mutasa.
The Bill seeks
to punish all farm occupiers who continue to hold or utilise land
without lawful authority in the form of an offer letter.
It also provides
for compensation for improvements effected before the acquisition
of the property and repeals the Rural Land Occupiers (Protection
from Eviction) Act.
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