Land Section in the Draft Constitution

18 July 2012


4.29 Rights to agricultural land

(1) In this section—
?agricultural land? means land used or suitable for agriculture, that is to say for horticulture, viticulture, forestry or aquaculture or for any purpose of husbandry, including—
(a) the keeping or breeding of livestock, game, poultry, animals or bees; or
(b) the grazing of livestock or game;
but does not include Communal Land or land within the boundaries of an urban local authority or within a township established under a law relating to town and country planning or as defined in a law relating to land survey.
"land" includes anything permanently attached to or growing on land;
"piece of agricultural land" means a piece of agricultural land registered as a separate piece of land in a Deeds Registry.

(2) Where agricultural land is required for a public purpose, including—
(a) settlement for agricultural or other purposes;
(b) land reorganisation, forestry, environmental conservation or the utilisation of wild life or other natural resources; or
(c) the relocation of persons dispossessed as a result of the utilisation of land for a purpose referred to in subparagraph (a) or (b);
the land may be acquired by the State by notice published in the Gazette by the acquiring authority and identifying the land, whereupon the land vests in the State with full title with effect from the date of publication of the notice.

(3) Where agricultural land, or any right or interest in such land, is compulsorily acquired for a purpose referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (2)—
(a) no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition, except for improvements effected on it before its acquisition;
(b) no person may apply to court for the determination of any question relating to compensation, except for compensation for improvements effected on the land before its acquisition, and no court may entertain any such application; and
(c) the acquisition may not be challenged on the ground that it was discriminatory in contravention of section 4.13.

(4) All agricultural land which— 41 (a) was itemised in Schedule 7 to the former Constitution; or
(b) before the effective date, was identified in terms of section 16B(2)(a)(ii) or (iii) of the former Constitution;
continues to be vested in the State, and no compensation is payable in respect of its acquisition except for improvements effected on it before its acquisition.

(5) As soon as practicable after agricultural land is acquired in accordance with subsection (3), the officer responsible for the registration of title over land must, without further notice, effect the necessary endorsements upon any title deed and entries in any register for the purpose of formally cancelling the title deed and registering the State’s title over the land.

(6) An Act of Parliament may make it a criminal offence for any person, without lawful authority, to possess or occupy agricultural land referred to in this section or other State land.

(7) This section applies without prejudice to the obligation of the former colonial power to pay compensation for land referred to in this section that has been acquired for resettlement purposes.

(8) In regard to the compulsory acquisition of agricultural land for the resettlement of people in accordance with a programme of land reform, the following factors must be regarded as of ultimate and overriding importance—
(a) under colonial domination the people of Zimbabwe were unjustifiably dispossessed of their land and other resources without compensation;
(b) the people consequently took up arms in order to regain their land and political sovereignty, and this ultimately resulted in the Independence of Zimbabwe in 1980;
(c) the people of Zimbabwe must be enabled to re-assert their rights and regain ownership of their land;
and accordingly—
(i) the former colonial power has an obligation to pay compensation for agricultural land compulsorily acquired for resettlement, through an adequate fund established for the purpose; and
(ii) if the former colonial power fails to pay compensation through such a fund, the Government of Zimbabwe has no obligation