We will privatize rural land first chance we get – Chamisa

by | Apr 21, 2021 | Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

The MDC-Alliance`s neoliberal perspective on land ownership reared its ugly head recently when the party released its independence statement in which the their leader Nelson Chamisa promised to privatize rural land at the emergence of the first opportunity.

Chamisa, whose party has been hostile towards rural communities for their loyalty to the ruling party ZANU PF, has been presiding over the opaque selling of land in urban local authorities and is salivating at the prospect of laying his hands on rural land.

“Our message to all Zimbabweans in rural areas, farming areas and broader Zimbabwe is that under ourthe leadership you will have title and ownership of their land.
Under rural modernization, there will be title and value to the land. The land belongs to the people. It is a right and it will be protected,” said Chamisa.

Thinly veiled as an argument for title and value for land, Chamisa and his handlers have intentions to sell communal land, further displacing Zimbabwean rural dwellers who were affected by racist Rhodesian policies.

Communal land makes up 16 400 400 hectares of Zimbabwe occupied by 1 300 000 farmers, however, as it stands there has been an illegal land rush in which pastures are being sold by councillors and headmen.

It appears Chamisa, given a chance, would legalise the commercialisation of rural areas.

MDC-A track record with land does not inspire much confidence in the declaration made by Chamisa.
Harare City Council has become a den of thieves as two successive mayors, Herbert Gomba and Jacob Mafume were swallowed in scandals involving illicit selling of land.

In 2020 a block of the majority caucus of MDC-A councillors from Chitungwiza Town Council, and some council officials arrested for abuse of office and selling illegally more than 2 000 residential stands in the town.

That same year, 200 illegal structures along High Glen and Kambuzuma Roads whose owners belonged to 32 bogus housing co-operatives were demolished . Council officials said the houses were built on State land meant for a hospital and other amenities.

Another 134 households in Budiriro 5, an extension of Harare’s Budiriro suburb where pulled down.
In January 2021, MDC-led Chitungwiza Municipality announced that it was set to demolish over 11 000 properties, including houses illegally built on wetlands, railway servitudes and sewer lines, a leaked internal memo shows.

Interestingly, the targeted houses were built on stands allocated by the MDC Alliance-led council, while others were parcelled out by land barons.