The government says it is embarking on a $35 million exercise to audit the land reform program after unearthing irregularities that saw children as young as 10 and 12 years old receiving farms or plots under the program.
Lands and Resettlement Minister Douglas Mombeshora told the Herald newspaper that some beneficiaries were allocated more farms because of a mix-up of names.
He said his ministry is working with the Registrar General’s Office to verify identity numbers of beneficiaries, and would repossess land acquired fraudulently.
However, member of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Land, Sam Siphepha Nkomo, said the most effective way of re-addressing the land redistribution program is through setting up an independent committee to look into the land reforms.
Some Zimbabweans, including top Zanu-PF officials are believed to have benefited from the land reform program.
The MDC has over the years called for a proper audit of the land reform program, noting that some Zanu-PF officials are multiple farm owners.
President Robert Mugabe’s party has neither confirmed nor denied these allegations.
Over 3,000 white commercial farmers lost their land to indigenous blacks under the controversial land reforms, which some critics blame for the almost collapse of the agriculture sector in Zimbabwe.