MDC-A legislators yesterday during the question and answer session in parliament defended former first lady Grace Mugabe’s land grab during her tenure as first lady.

This was after Norton legislator Themba Mliswa asked Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement minister Perrance Shiri
what his ministry was doing concerning the 12 farms owned by Mrs Mugabe since
the Zimbabwe government is now repossessing and downsizing farms from multiple land owners.

Mliswa alleged that no land belonging to the former First family had been repossessed of which MDC-A legislators immediately heckled and interjected his question, accusing him of abusing a widow.

“Stop abusing her she’s a widow, Mugabe died so leave her alone.” they could be heard shouting.

In response Mliswa accused the MDC-A of selling out to Mrs Mugabe hence them protecting her.

“Makapihwa mari naGrace muchi campaigner (you were funded by Grace during the elections campaign),” Mr Mliswa said.

Minister Ziyambi said the Government remained committed and would not change its stance on the one-man, one-farm policy.

“Government indeed embarked on a land audit and our President is very clear on the policy of one-man one-farm and one woman one farm,” Minister Ziyambi said.

Meanwhile in a Government gazette published two weeks ago Lands, Agriculture, and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri announced that can one can now only have a maximum of one farm. He said the hectarage of the farms differs as per ecological region and the farm sizes where specified in the article.

Part of the Government Gazette reads: “It is hereby notified that the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement has in terms of section 21 of the Land Commission Act (Chapter 20:21) made the following regulations:

“Subject to sections 5 and 6, no person shall own a farm in natural region one if the size of the farm exceeds 250 hectares or natural region two if the size of the farm exceeds 500 hectares or natural region three if the size of the farm exceeds 700 hectares or natural region four if the size of the farm exceeds 1 000 hectares or natural region five if the size of the farm exceeds 2 000 hectares.

Natural region one covers areas that receive an average rainfall above 1 000 millimetres per year, while region two receives an average rainfall between around 650 millimetres and 1 000 millimetres annually.

In region three, rainfall received per year is between 650 millimetres and 800 millimetres, whereas in region four the maximum rainfall received annually is around 650 millimetres and is characterised by periodic droughts.

Natural region five covers those areas that normally receive low and erratic rainfall of less than 650 millimetres.

Natural region one is suitable for dairy farming forestry, tea, coffee, fruit, beef and maize production, while region two is suitable for intensive farming, based on maize, tobacco, cotton and livestock.

Region three is a semi-intensive farming region, suitable for livestock production, together with production of fodder crops and cash crops under good farm management.

Region four is semi-extensive region, suitable for livestock and resistant fodder crops, forestry and wildlife/tourism. Region five is an extensive farming region, suitable for extensive cattle ranching, forestry and wildlife/tourism.

Tendai Guvamombe