EDITOR — I would like to react to comments by the honourable minister for Lands and Rural Resettlement Herbert Murerwa that the country is facing an acute shortage of land surveyors hence the delay in issuing out 99-year leases to newly-resettled farmers.
This is indeed true, but I must point out that while this shortage is a sad reality, what makes it fatal is the fact that the few surveyors that exist in the country are not being suitably remunerated.
This then discourages them from offering their services which are greatly needed at the present moment.
The value of arable land (in hectares) in Zimbabwe as of 2011 was 4 100 000 and the number of trained/qualified surveyors is not commensurate with the space requiring attention.
As a result, government must devote attention to catering for the few surveyors that we have instead of frustrating them.
EDITOR— It is common knowledge that Zimbabwe has been conducting a land reform programme since 1980 which was fast tracked in the period 2000 to 2005.
The subdivisions in these resettlement areas are not surveyed yet the new settlers are supposed to be issued 99-year-leases while the land has been unalieanated (Paradzayi 2007).
The resultant situation makes it mandatory for boundary surveys which determine who owns which space and to what extent to be conducted but; who wants to work for free?
I now appeal to the Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to take into account this anomaly and secure an amount for the country’s surveyors in his fiscal budget.
The country which relies mostly on agriculture and mining as the exoskeleton and alpenstock of the economy needs to prioritise surveyors in all their descriptions and functionalities.
It is at this point that I must pinpoint that there are different types of surveyors who specialise in various and semi-related fields ( a subject for another day.)
Suffice it to say that the better known group of surveyors are of the cadastral nature.
This is primarily because the acceptable quality of survey work is rigid and does not accommodate recent technologies such as GPS which can also be used in farm surveys.
If Zanu PF is to make headway and accomplish its goals which include restoring the agriculture sector, they definitely need to appreciate the work and purpose of surveyors.
The kind of information they provide allows one to determine the acreage allocated to individuals which makes it easier to estimate the value and approximate returns of that piece of land.
If government was serious when they said every farmer must contribute a portion of their produce to the Grain Marketing Board, then it needs to know how much each person owns and how much they can contribute.
Accurate figures and approximations can only be made in consultation with the country’s surveyors who at this particular moment are not being sufficiently remunerated or inculcated into the country’s fiscal budget.
This reduces government’s promise of investing in agriculture to cheap rhetoric because if they are genuinely devoted to this cause they would have shown an express interest in surveyors.
I hope that this matter is given the attention it requires by the relevant authorities otherwise so far efforts to restore and revamp the mining and agriculture sectors have been tantamount to child’s play.