The government has, since 2005, lost close to US$3 billion due to a lack of valuation when urban State Land was expropriated by local authorities, developers and cooperatives for human settlements.
This was revealed in a report by the Commission of Inquiry into the Sale of State Land in and around Urban Settlements chaired by Justice Tendai Uchena. Part of the report reads:
The commission’s computation of the total value of the farms, according to the ministry responsible for Local Government, is US$3 004 368.931.
However, the Government has recovered less than 10 per cent of the intrinsic value of the land and is owed almost US$3 billion by beneficiaries of urban State land. To be exact, the total full prejudice to the State stands at US$2 977 072 819.
The Commission was appointed on February 1, 2018, and completed its mandate in October. On Tuesday, December 10, 2019, it presented its findings to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Land barons, usually politically-connected, have over the years been selling State land to desperate home seekers and pocketing the proceeds.
Some of the land illegally sold for home construction was on wetlands and some of it was reserved for schools, clinics and recreation or other functions other than housing.