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Committee appointed to clean up land reform mess

Godfrey Marawanyika

AS President Robert Mugabe desperately casts around for solutions to his chaotic land reform programme, he has appointed a five-member national committee known as the Presidential Land Re

settlement Committee which is expected to beef up another team led by Special Affairs minister John Nkomo in clean-up efforts. It has a three-month mandate.

The committee has been selected from among various heads of government departments and will be getting support from a team of provincial coordinators.

Willard Chiwewe, former Foreign Affairs permanent secretary who is now Senior Secretary in the President’s Office, heads the task force. He confirmed that he was heading the team on Wednesday but said that its term of office might surpass the three-month period.

“Tinopedza, kanatapedza (We will end when we finish the task). We are committed to this and we are working on a permanent institution to address the problems that have affected the land distribution,” said Chiwewe

“What we want to have is a permanent institution that would be looking at the land reform programme, just like what was recommended in the Utete report,” he said.

The task force also has an “inspectorate” that is expected to deal with senior officials who might decide not to co-operate with the team, including those who grabbed more than one farm.

The inspectorate is led by deputy police commissioner Godwin Matanga and assisted by Air Vice-Marshal Henry Muchena. Chiwewe also confirmed that Matanga was heading the inspectorate.

Among its various tasks is that of investigating the chaotic handling of the land reform programme and to come up with recommendations that would see the creation of a permanent office which deals with the issues of land reform.

At a national level, the team comprises Sophia Tsvakwi and Ringson Chitsiko, directors in the Department of Agriculture, Mathamsanqa Dube, the principal of Joshua Nkomo technical college, Daniel Moyo, the regional director for Education in Matabeleland North, and Vitalis Chadenga, director of National Parks.

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