By Anna Chibamu
LANDS Minister Perrance Shiri has exonerated officials from the ruling Zanu PF party from any illegal land deals.
He urged anyone with evidence of such illicit deals to bring evidence to his ministry or the police.
Shiri was responding to Norton MP Temba Mliswa during a question and answer session in Parliament last Wednesday when the independent legislator alleged senior Zanu PF politicians were involved in massive illegal land sales.
“The issue of illegal settlers has been going on for a long time, where you have got politicians and not only lands officers who were settling people and very much so it was Zanu PF politicians trying to garner votes,” Mliswa said.
“In his wisdom the President Emmerson Mnangagwa offered this job to a Commander (Shiri) whom he knew very well will take no prisoners on board, what has he done to deal with that?” asked Mliswa.
However, the minister professed ignorance over any illegal land sales involving party elements.
“I am not aware of any Zanu PF officials who have been resettling people outside the normal channels. However, if the Hon. Member has got evidence to that extent, we will be more than happy to look into the matters,” said Shiri.
“We have been working with police to flush out illegal settlers. However, in the process, we have been trying to identify those who are genuinely in need of land and in such cases, we have ensured that we find alternative land for those who are genuinely in need of land but those who want to take advantage are being flushed out.”
Shiri is a Zanu PF Politburo member.
Meanwhile, the minister has warned ‘overzealous’ lands officers illegally allocating land without the authority of the lands committee that government would take stern measures against them.
“There is no one who is supposed to be settled on grazing land. I am aware we have got some cases whereby there are some overzealous lands officers who go on to allocate land without going through the appropriate land committee.
“It is mostly at the district level whereby, whatever allocation is carried out, it is supposed to be sanctioned by the District Lands Committee. If that information is brought to our attention we will take corrective measures,” added Shiri.