AN ACT to provide for the Zimbabwe Land Commission established by section 296 of the Constitution; to provide for the acquisition of State land and the disposal of State land; to provide for the settlement of persons on, and the alienation of, agricultural land; to provide for the control of the subdivision and lease of land for farming or other purposes; to provide for limiting of the number of pieces of land that may be owned by any person and the sizes of such land; to repeal the Agricultural Land Settlement Act [Chapter 20:01] and the Rural Land Act [Chapter 20:18] to amend the Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10]; and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the foregoing.
WHEREAS sections 296 and 297 of the Constitution provide as follows: —
296 Establishment and composition of Zimbabwe Land Commission
(1) There is a commission to be known as Zimbabwe Land Commission consisting of—
(a) a chairperson and deputy chairperson; and
(b) a minimum of two and a maximum of seven other members appointed by the President.
(2) Members of the Zimbabwe Land Commission must—
(a) be chosen for their integrity and competence in, and knowledge and understanding of, the best practices in land management and administration; and
(b) reflect the diversity of Zimbabwe’s population, in particular its regional interests and gender balance.
(3) Section 237 applies in relation to the removal from office of members of the Zimbabwe Land Commission as if it were an independent Commission established by Chapter 12.
(1) The Zimbabwe Land Commission has the following functions—
(a) to ensure accountability, fair ness and transparency in the administration of agricultural land that is vested in the State;
(b) to conduct periodical audits of agricultural land;
(c) to make recommendations to the Government regarding —
(i) the acquisition of private land for public purposes;
(ii) equitable access to and holding and occupation of agricultural land, in particular—
A. the elimination of all forms of unfair discrimination, particularly gender discrimination;
B. the enforcement of any law restricting the amount of agricultural land that may be held by any person or household:,
(iii) land usage and the size of agricultural land holdings;
(iv) the simplification of the acquisition and transfer of rights in land;
(v) systems of land tenure; and.
(vi) fair compensation payable under any law for agricultural land and improvements that have been compulsorily acquired;
(vii) allocations and alienations of agricultural land;
(d.) to investigate and determine complaints and. disputes regarding the supervision, administration and allocation of agricultural land.
(2) The Zimbabwe Land Commission, with the approval of the Minister responsible for land, may make regulations for any of the purposes set out in subsection (1).
(3) The Zimbabwe Land Commission must exercise its functions in accordance with any general written policy directives which the Minister responsible for land may give it..
(4) In discharging its functions, the Zimbabwe Land Commission must be guided by the principles set out in section 289.
(5) The State and all institutions and agencies of government at every level, through legislative and other measures, must assist the Zimbabwe Land Convnission in carrying out its functions and must protect its independence, impartiality, integrity and effectiveness.
(6) The Government must make adequate and suitable provision, through legislation and other appropriate weans, to ensure that—
(a) the Zimbabwe Land Commission is able to exercise its functions efficiently and independently; and
(b) persons employed by the Zimbabwe Land Commission carry out their duties conscientiously, fairly and impartially.
AND WHEREAS it is desirable to make further provision for the Zimbabwe Land Commission and for persons employed in connection with that Commission;
AND WHEREAS, in terms of section 292 of the Constitution, it is provided that The State must take appropriate measures, including legislative measures, to give security of tenure to every person lawfully owning or occupying agricultural land:
NOW, THEREFORE, be it enacted by the Parliament and the President of Zimbabwe as follows: —
PART I Preliminary
This Act may be cited as the Land Commission Act [Chapter 20:29],
2 Interpretation In this Act—
“A1 farm” means a farm held under a permit allocated under the Model A1 scheme (villagised, and three-tier land-use plans with minimum plots of three hectares) described in the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase 2), published in April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time);
“A2 farm” means a farm held under a ninety-nine year lease allocated under the Model A2 scheme (the Commercial Farm Settlement Scheme, not exceeding the maximum farm sizes prescribed under Statutory Instrument 419 of 1999 or any other law substituted for the same) described in the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase 2), published in April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time);
“acquiring authority” means the President or person or authority compulsorily taking possession of or acquiring the property or any interest or right therein in terms of the Constitution or Land Acquisition Act [Chapter 20:10];
“agricultural land” has the same meaning as provided in section 72 of the Constitution and, unless the context otherwise requires, refers to agricultural land that is State land;
“alienate”, in relation to agricultural land that is State land, includes to issue a ninety-nine year lease, lease with a purchase option, permit, offer letter or deed of grant to a person;
“Commission” means the Zimbabwe Land Commission established by section 296 of the Constitution;
“deed of grant” means the deed by which the transfer of ownership of unalienated State land is evidenced in terms of section 16(1 )(b) of the Deeds Registries Act [Chapter 20:05];
“farm” means any area of agricultural land which is not within—
(a) parks and wild life land or forest land; or
(b) a municipal area, town area or local government area as defined in the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15]', or
(c) a town ward of a rural district council or an area that has been declared a specified area in terms of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] \ or
(d) the area of any township as defined in the Land Survey Act [Chapter 20:12]; or
(e) State land the layout of which has been approved in terms of—
(i) section 127 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1Chapter 213 of 1974] \ or
(ii) section 43 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act [Chapter 20:12]-
“piece of land” means a piece of land registered as a separate entity in the Deeds Registry;
“farmer” means the owner or lessee of, or permit-holder or holder of an offer letter in relation to, a farm;
“Gazetted land” means agricultural land acquired pursuant to the laud reform programme under section 72(2) of the Constitution or referred to in section 72(4) of the Constitution;
“holder” in relation to an offer letter, means the holder of an offer letter who has indicated that he or she has accepted the offer of a farm described in the letter but who is not yet a party to a ninety-nine year lease;
“household” consists of spouses living together as husband and wife and their dependant children or other dependants whom they are lawfully required to maintain;
“indigenous person” has the same meaning as in the Indigenisatiou and Economic Empowerment Act [Chapter 14:33] (No. 14 of 2007);
“land” includes anything permanently attached to or growing on land;
“lease” means a ninety-nine year lease or lease with a purchase option or other lease of agricultural land, and “lease” shall be construed accordingly;
“lease with a purchase option” means a lease of a holding issued by the State in terms of the repealed Agricultural Land Settlement Act to an indigenous person, that contains an option to purchase the holding to which it relates, and includes the tenure of a holding after the right to purchase the holding has been exercised and until title has been issued in respect thereof;
“member”, in relation to the Commission, means a member of the Commission;
“Minister” means the Minister of Lands and Rural Resettlement or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act, and “Ministry” shall be construed accordingly;
“ninety-nine year lease” means a lease of any portion of Gazetted land, and relating in particular to that categoiy of resettlement land allocated under the A2 Model Scheme described in the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase 2), published in April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time);
“Natural Region” means a Natural Region specified in section 3 of the Rural Land (Farm Sizes) Regulations, 1999, published in Statutory Instrument 419 of 1999, or any other law that may be substituted for those regulations;
“offer letter” means a letter issued by the Minister that offers to allocate an A2 farm to the person to whom the letter is addressed;
“partially alienated State land right” means —
(a) a ninety-nine year lease or other lease of agricultural land; or
(b) a lease with a purchase option; or
(c) a permit; or
(d) an offer letter;
and includes any right incidental to or connected with any of the foregoing rights (such as a statutory servitude created in terms of Part IX), and the expression “holder of partially alienated State land” shall be construed accordingly;
“permit” means a permit to hold any portion of Gazetted land and relating in particular to that category of resettlement land allocated under the AI Model Scheme described in the Land Reform and Resettlement Programme and Implementation Plan (Phase 2), published in April, 2001 (as re-issued and amended from time to time);
“province” means an area of Zimbabwe declared as such in terms of the Provincial Councils and Administration Act [Chapter 29:11\,
“principal officer”, in relation to—
(a) a public authority which is a Government Ministry or department or a statutory body, means the head of the Ministry or department in question, or the chairperson of the governing body or chief executive officer of the statutory body in question, by whatever title he or she may be called;
(b) a company, other corporate body or unregistered association, means the chairperson or any member of the board or other governing body of the company, corporate body or unregistered association;
“public authority”, in relation to an authority or official against whom or which any complaint has been made in terms of section 10, means any person, body, organ, agency or institution belonging to or controlled or employed by the State, a local authority or statutory body;
“quarter” means a period of three months ending on the 31st March, 30th June, 30th September and 31st December in each year;
“Register” and “Registrar” bear the meanings given in section 38(1);
“repealed Agricultural Land Settlement Act” means the Agricultural Land Settlement Act [Chapter 20:01] repealed by section 64;
“rental” means a rental payable in terms of section 56;
“statutory servitude” means a servitude created in terms of Part IX;
“this Act” includes, where applicable, the provisions of any lease or permit issued or deemed to have been issued under this Act.