Land barons must be exposed and prosecuted
The recent much publicised public spat between Phillip Chiyangwa and Saviour Kasukuwere disclosed shocking details about the activities of land barons in Zimbabwe. The MDC is deeply concerned that whilst millions of Zimbabweans are homeless and struggling to acquire land to build decent homes for their families, some well – connected individuals within the Zanu PF regime have access to thousands of hectares of both urban and rural land that they are now selling for private gain.
Whilst the MDC firmly and strongly believes in the rule of law and the protection and upholding of private property rights, we are extremely concerned by the public disclosure that a private individual like Phillip Chiyangwa has managed to amass for himself huge pieces of land that he is now busy selling to desperate home seekers at huge profits. We call upon the Parliament of Zimbabwe and indeed, the Zimbabwe Anti–Corruption Commission, to immediately institute a thorough investigation into how certain individuals in Zimbabwe have somehow managed to corruptly acquire huge pieces of rural, urban and peri – urban land. There are reports that several Zanu PF politicians, including senior Cabinet Ministers, own several farms whilst thousands of Zimbabweans are struggling to be allocated agricultural land.
The MDC is a social democratic political party that advocates for the provision of decent housing to all Zimbabweans, regardless of political affiliation. Presently, we are facing a situation whereby most, if not all, local authorities, have virtually lost control of one of their most essential functions which is to provide people with residential stands after they have formally registered on the housing waiting lists. Land barons have now virtually taken over all available urban land and they are now profiteering from the sale of residential stands.
Revelations that a senior Cabinet Minister also solicited for a US$5 million bribe in order to facilitate a land deal for Phillip Chiyangwa should also be taken very seriously. The scourge of corruption has ripped the socio – economic fabric of Zimbabwe and it is high time that corruption, particularly by politicians and other well – heeled people in both the public and private sectors, be ruthlessly dealt with. Whilst the MDC has got absolutely no business getting itself involved in the public feud between Chiyangwa and Kasukuwere, we have got every right to raise our serious concern about the exposition of high level corruption and wheeling and dealing that has been disclosed by this public spat.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police, the Parliament of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Anti–Corruption Commission have got their work cut out. They should immediately move in and launch thorough investigations into how thousands of hectares of State land is finding itself under the corrupt and selfish control of politically well–connected land barons.
MDC: Equal Opportunities FOr All
Obert Chaurura Gutu
MDC National Spokesperson