MASUNGA: Acute shortage of land in the North East District (NED) is a major factor in failure to attract big businesses to the frontier territory adjacent to Zimbabwe, the Chairman of Tati Land Board, Nixon Mogapi, said recently.
Addressing journalists in a press conference on demand for land and land allocation in the district recently, Mogapi said with a jurisdictional area of approximately 5,960 square kilometres, shortage of land is a major constraint on economic development in the district. To drive his point home, he disclosed that Tati Land Board currently has a waiting list for residential plots of 63, 234. However, 61 percent of the total area of the district, or 3, 636 square kilometres, is tribal land while the rest is freehold land in private ownership.
“It is against this background that we do not have a big shopping mall in the whole district,” Mogapi said. “Big shopping malls by nature require large chunks of land.” Also at the press conference, the Vice Chairman of Tati Land Board, Fidelis Machola, said they are unable to allocate land for agriculture, which is 3 hectares per application. “Lack of farms and big business establishments like shopping malls are frustrating employment creation in the area,” Machola said.
He pointed out that circulation of money in the North East District is “very restricted” due to limited economic activity. The district is made up of 43 villages, the better known of which include Zwenshambe, Moroka, Mapoka, Tatisiding, Ditladi, Ramokgwebana and its principal town of Masunga. Machola said the land board has embarked on surveying infill detail layouts of 2,728 plots during the current financial year to see to it if they can create more laid out plots from the infill. He said a vetting exercise is underway to remove rejected applications, beneficiaries of land elsewhere, and applications that appear twice in their system in order to reduce the waiting list and become on more focused.