Biti Challenges Govt To Give War Veterans Title Deeds For Farms
Harare East MP, Tendai Biti (CCC), has said the government must give war veterans title deeds of farms they acquired during the Land Reform Programme, reported NewZimbabwe.com.
Biti said the majority of war veterans are wallowing in poverty and have nothing to show for their contribution to the country’s liberation.
Debating in the National Assembly on Thursday, Biti argued that the ex-combatants should not be given offer letters which have no security. He said:
The first thing we need to do is to give title deeds to war veterans of the farms that they acquired. You cannot make them subject to the offer letter.
The greatest service we can do to war veterans, number one is to give them title deeds to the farms that they benefitted from as a result of the Land Reform Programme.
The offer letter is non-securitised and in breach of Chapter 16 of the Constitution. The offer letter, just like their constituencies, can go just like the wind – bhururu bhururu, yabhururuka seshiri.
When Biti said war veterans’ “constituencies, can go just like the wind”, he was referring to Buhera South MP Joseph Chinotimba who led the farm invasions in 2000 and recently lost his constituency in the ZANU PF primaries. He added:
Let us give them security of tenure kuti chanoti chandakarwirawo ndechichi. Chandinosiirawo vazukuru vangu ndechichi, that land and if we say the basis of the Land Reform Programme was the land, then the basis of the reward of the war veteran must be the land.
That should be the starting point. Why are we afraid to give war collaborators the land? Let us give them title deeds.
Land was the basis of the liberation struggle and hence ownership of it is deemed to have the potential of socially and economically empower veterans and their dependents.
Around the year 2000, Zimbabwe embarked on a fast-track land reform programme which was largely violent in nature.
Vast tracks of land were seized from white farmers and parcelled among landless black families.
However, the chaotic nature of the programme has been blamed for Zimbabwe’s economic challenges as production on farms collapsed and western countries imposed sanctions on the country.
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