Citizens Coalition for Change co-vice-chairperson Sesel Zvidzai has called on the government to give youths land in a non-partisan manner to help fight idleness which is causing rampant drug and substance abuse among the young population.
Zvidzai told NewsDay in an interview that the government has been paying lip service to the land distribution promises.
“The nation must agree on how much land we have,” Zvidzai said.
“How much land is fairly in the hands of those who use it productively? How much land is lying idle and what is the optimum size for efficient utilisation?”
The former Local Government deputy minister in the 2009 to 2013 Government of National Unity said land distribution was a civil issue and should never be dealt with in a partisan manner.
“Ownership of land is a right, hence everyone should have access to land regardless of political affiliation,” he said. “Citizens must talk to each other and reach a consensus on the way forward. The status quo on land is simply unsustainable.”
Pointing to the recent census figures that showed an increasing population of youths graduating into economic activity, Zvidzai said: “The easiest fallback for us as a nation is, therefore, to give land to the youths.”
He said if youths were economically empowered there was great potential for them to shy away from drug and substance abuse.
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Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka recently said at least 260 000 people were on the land waiting list.
He said government would repossess land from people with multiple farms, but critics say this is a load of hot air.
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