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Govt threatens to withdraw land offer letters over subletting

GOVERNMENT has threatened to withdraw offer letters to beneficiaries of the land reform programme who have entered into joint ventures without permission from the Lands ministry.

In a notice yesterday, the Lands and Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka said subletting of land was illegal.

"No beneficiary of the land reform programme can enter into any share-cropping agreement without the approval of the minister responsible for lands," the notice read.

"The Land Commission Act Chapter 20:29 states that no owner or occupier of land to which this Act applies shall permit the occupation on a share-cropping basis by another person of any portion of such land unless an agreement in writing has been entered into between such owner or occupier and such other person in respect of the occupation of such land on a share-cropping basis and such agreement has been approved by the minister.

"It is illegal to sublease agricultural land under the land reform programme. Any joint venture agreement that amounts to subletting land will not be approved and any beneficiaries found to be subletting agricultural land will have their offer letters withdrawn," he said.

Masuka said applications for joint venture agreements must demonstrate ability to "enhance production, productivity and profitability on farms".

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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