In this Chapter “agricultural land” has the meaning given to it by section 72.
289. Principles guiding policy on agricultural land
In order to redress the unjust and unfair pattern of land ownership that was brought about by colonialism, and to bring about land reform and the equitable access by all Zimbabweans to the country’s natural resources, policies regarding agricultural land must be guided by the following principles–
land is a finite natural resource that forms part of Zimbabweans’ common heritage;
subject to section 72, every Zimbabwean citizen has a right to acquire, hold, occupy, use, transfer, hypothecate, lease or dispose of agricultural land regardless of his or her race or colour;
the allocation and distribution of agricultural land must be fair and equitable, having regard to gender balance and diverse community interests;
the land tenure system must promote increased productivity and investment by Zimbabweans in agricultural land;
the use of agricultural land should promote food security, good health and nutrition and generate employment, while protecting and conserving the environment for future generations;
no person may be deprived arbitrarily of their right to use and occupy agricultural land.
290. Continuation of rights of State in agricultural land
All agricultural land which–
was itemised in Schedule 7 to the former Constitution; or
before the effective date, was identified in terms of section 16B(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of the former Constitution;
continues to be vested in the State.
Any inconsistency between anything contained in–
a notice itemised in Schedule 7 to the former Constitution; or
a notice relating to agricultural land and published in terms of section 16B(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of the former Constitution;
and the title deed to which it refers or is intended to refer, and any error whatsoever contained in such a notice, does not affect the operation of subsection (1) or invalidate the State’s title to the agricultural land concerned in terms of that subsection.
291. Continuation of rights of occupiers of agricultural land
Subject to this Constitution, any person who, immediately before the effective date, was using or occupying, or was entitled to use or occupy, any agricultural land by virtue of a lease or other agreement with the State continues to be entitled to use or occupy that land on or after the effective date, in accordance with that lease or other agreement.
If you enjoy this article, please do not forget to check out our other articles:
292. Security of tenure for occupiers of agricultural land
The State must take appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to give security of tenure to every person lawfully owning or occupying agricultural land.
293. Alienation of agricultural land by State
The State may alienate for value any agricultural land vested in it, whether through the transfer of ownership to any other person or through the grant of a lease or other right of occupation or use, but any such alienation must be in accordance with the principles specified in section 289.
The State may not alienate more than one piece of agricultural land to the same person and his or her dependants.
An Act of Parliament must prescribe procedures for the alienation and allocation of agricultural land by the State, and any such law must be consistent with the principles specified in section 289.
294. Alienation of agricultural land by owners or occupiers
Subject to any limitation imposed by law, an owner or occupier of agricultural land has the right to transfer, hypothecate, lease or dispose of his or her right in agricultural land.
295. Compensation for acquisition of previously-acquired agricultural land
Any indigenous Zimbabwean whose agricultural land was acquired by the State before the effective date is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements that were on the land when it was acquired.
Any person whose agricultural land was acquired by the State before the effective date and whose property rights at that time were guaranteed or protected by an agreement concluded by the Government of Zimbabwe with the government of another country, is entitled to compensation from the State for the land and any improvements in accordance with that agreement.
Any person, other than a person referred to in subsection (1) or (2), whose agricultural land was acquired by the State before the effective date is entitled to compensation from the State only for improvements that were on the land when it was acquired.
Compensation payable under subsections (1), (2) and (3) must be assessed and paid in terms of an Act of Parliament.
296. Establishment and composition of Zimbabwe Land Commission
There is a commission to be known as Zimbabwe Land Commission consisting of–
a chairperson and deputy chairperson; and
a minimum of two and a maximum of seven other members;
appointed by the President.
Members of the Zimbabwe Land Commission must–
be chosen for their integrity and competence in, and knowledge and understanding of, the best practices in land management and administration; and
reflect the diversity of Zimbabwe’s population, in particular its regional interests and gender balance.
Section 237 applies in relation to the removal from office of members of the Zimbabwe Land Commission as if it were an independent Commission established by Chapter 12.
297. Functions of Zimbabwe Land Commission
The Zimbabwe Land Commission has the following functions–
to ensure accountability, fairness and transparency in the administration of agricultural land that is vested in the State;
to conduct periodical audits of agricultural land;
to make recommendations to the Government regarding
the acquisition of private land for public purposes;
equitable access to and holding and occupation of agricultural land, in particular–
the elimination of all forms of unfair discrimination, particularly gender discrimination;
the enforcement of any law restricting the amount of agricultural land that may be held by any person or household;
land usage and the size of agricultural land holdings;
the simplification of the acquisition and transfer of rights in land;
systems of land tenure; and
fair compensation payable under any law for agricultural land and improvements that have been compulsorily acquired;
allocations and alienations of agricultural land;
to investigate and determine complaints and disputes regarding the supervision, administration and allocation of agricultural land.
The Zimbabwe Land Commission, with the approval of the Minister responsible for land, may make regulations for any of the purposes set out in subsection (1).
The Zimbabwe Land Commission must exercise its functions in accordance with any general written policy directives which the Minister responsible for land may give it.
In discharging its functions, the Zimbabwe Land Commission must be guided by the principles set out in section 289.
The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, through legislative and other measures, must assist the Zimbabwe Land Commission in carrying out its functions and must protect its independence, impartiality, integrity and effectiveness.
The Government must make adequate and suitable provision, through legislation and other appropriate means, to ensure that–
the Zimbabwe Land Commission is able to exercise its functions efficiently and independently; and
persons employed by the Zimbabwe Land Commission carry out their duties conscientiously, fairly and impartially.
Please check out our other thought-provoking articles if you did like this one: