Home » Governance » Govt Still to Take Over Rhodesian Properties

President Robert Mugabe’s government is still struggling to explain why it has failed 34 years since independence to transfer properties previously owned by the Rhodesian government, Parliament heard Monday.

In his oral evidence to the parliamentary portfolio committee of Justice, deputy attorney general Kumbirai Hodzi said “government is seized with the matter”.

He was responding to questions from Masvingo Central Zanu PF MP Daniel Shumba who wanted to know what the state is doing to claim the properties.

“We have a strategic committee working on the matter and we have been working on it for quite some time now. The attorney general’s office I must say has also aised the ministry of foreign affairs to conduct a general audit of all consular properties across the world to see what we have and what we do not won,” said Hodzi.

A visibly unimpressed Shumba shot-back immediately “I think there is a problem in government and in particular with your department because it seems you just give aice and you seem not to have any instrument to measure how effective your aice is or whether it is being taken up and implemented. You cannot just give aice and fold your arms waiting for people to implement it. There should be consequences for not implementing aice,” said Shumba.

“Have you quantified the cost of negated aice?” he asked.

In response Hodzi said his department had not.

“But I am sure 99 percent of our aice has been taken up and particularly the aice we have given with a quantum of the costs that government could incur in the event that they do not take it up,” he said.

Media reports last month revealed that the last Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith’s government still officially owned properties in Mozambique three decades after it was deposed according to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s 2011 report.

“There are properties in Mozambique which are supposed to be under the ownership of the government of Zimbabwe. However at the date of the audit, the ownership status of some of these properties was not clear.

“The properties, which were owned by the Rhodesian government should have been transferred to the Zimbabwean government on the attainment of independence in 1980. Proof of ownership in the form of title deeds was not availed for my inspection,” a local daily quoted the report, now before Parliament.

Source : New Zimbabwe