By Paidashe Mandivengerei
Government is owed close to US$3 billion by citizens who acquired state land in urban areas from 2005, the Report on the Commission of Inquiry into Sale of State Land has revealed.
The commission of inquiry chaired by Justice Tendai Uchena appointed in February 2018 presented it’s findings to President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday.
The report highlighted that from the year 2005 state land had been sold, allocated and developed across the country without valuation processes being conducted.
A total of 431 cases, 156 being from Harare Province will be referred to Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) which have arresting powers for further investigations.
“The Ministry responsible for Local Government has not been able to value all the farms utilised for urban development.
Accordingly, planning, allocations, development and occupation have taken place without valuation for most farms.
The Commission’s computation of the total value of the farms according to the Ministry responsible for Local Government is USD3 004 368.931 [three billion four million three hundred and sixty eight thousand nine hundred and thirty one United States Dollars].
However, the government of Zimbabwe has recovered less than 10% of the intrinsic value of the land and is owed almost three (3) billion United States Dollars by beneficiaries of urban state land.
To be exact, the total full prejudice to the State stands at USD 2 977 072 819 [two billion nine hundred and seventy seven million eight hundred and 19 thousand united states dollars]”