The latest research report by the Zimbabwe People’s Land Rights Movement gives us a glimpse of what is at stake for many Zimbabweans post-land reform. The report touches on the consequences of insecure tenure and ambiguous land titles in a policy vacuum. Read on.
This report presents the findings of a field survey that seeks to quantify the potential losses, costs and damage to women-headed families in cases of forced evictions, as has been the case for some of the families in the Sokis resettlement community at Innezdale Farm — one of the 5-acre Al models that were re-allocated to farmers under the Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) — in Mhondoro Ngezi, Kadoma District, Zimbabwe. These pending forced evictions, due to disputed tenure by competing beneficiaries of the FLRTP in the absence of a national land policy, have a direct bearing on productivity and violate these families’ human rights related to habitat, including their human rights to adequate housing, land, water, livelihood with the continuous improvement of living conditions and meaningful participation. These human rights are guaranteed under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Article Il), which Zimbabwe ratified on 13 August 1991.
The report makes the following recommendations:
- Government should urgently address the land policy vacuum and tenure insecurity by formulating new and effective policy at the national level in collaboration with affected communities
- Government should ensure access to safe and clean water by drilling boreholes in resettlement areas.
- Government should invest in the development of service roads and infrastructure to ensure accessibility to markets, hospitals and other essential services.
- Government should build, staff, and sustainably fund schools and clinics to ensure the right to health and education in resettlement areas.
- Tenancy should be regularised so that communities can contribute to roads and infrastructure development through the payment of levies and other taxes.
- The Zimbabwe Land Commission should immediately be capacitated to deal with land disputes backlog.
- Non-state actors should be approached to assist in the provision of potable water drilling of boreholes, provision of counselling services to female-headed families and relief aid.
- Government should provide both technical and financial agricultural support to women for effective production and marketing on their farms, given that about 25% of the women surveyed were only utilising between 0—2 hectares of the 5 hectares held.
- Organizations should be approached to assist in the provision of community and grassroots education on land rights and alternative justice systems.
- Government should set up a compensation fund to cater for all victims of forced evictions unlike the current situation where only former commercial farmers are being compensated.
Access the full report here (32MB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe People’s Land Rights Movement