Registering land off er letters in dealing with precarious/volatile security of tenure in the Zimbabwe fast track land reform


  • Gift Masengwe Independent Researcher, University of Free State, South Africa
  • Christopher Makuvaza Independent Researcher, University of Free State, South Africa
  • Dube Bekithemba Lecturer, University of Free State, South


Land O er Letters, Land Reform - Zimbabwe, Land tenure - Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe hadtraditional-led; council-led and state-led land management systems until theemergence of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) that used tenantletters called Land Offer Letters (LOL) also Land Rental Leases (LRL) withquestionable issues of ownership, longevity of use, land rights, support forproductivity and tenure policies. ‑ e study was aimed at establishingchallenges associated with land registration after the 2001-2003 FTLRP inZimbabwe using LOL that deed existing land management systems as the lesseereceived an insecure 99-year rental lease. The LOL were ordered without landsurveys and demarcations to give the beneficiary bankable title deeds thatprovided legal benefits to the lessee. The study used Mobile Instant MessagingInterviews (MIMI) as its study design for this qualitative study. The methodwas used to collect data from key informants and focus groups. Results from thestudy revealed that LOL demotivated beneficiaries from developing andincreasing productivity on land allocations due to insecurity of tenure. .Lessees, more often than not, engaged in land boundary contacts on naturalresource extraction and incessant ownership wrangles with former white farmers.Farmers struggled to source farming equipment and inputs. In conclusion thestudy found out that South African land registration laws were adopted inZimbabwe during the colonial era. Postcolonial land registration in Zimbabweshould transform the LOL to become registrable using surveys, demarcations andentitlements that provide legal rights to the FTLRP beneficiaries. Landregistration has been hailed for future land reforms in Zimbabwe.