Application to land development projects

Comments with regard to the 20,000 Plots Project


Officials have a duty to report, explain and be answerable for the consequences of decisions made on behalf of the citizens.

Mechanisms to make land officials accountable may exist but they may not be enforced, or enforced only in the case of junior officials, since top officials and politicians find themselves embroiled in land matters

Accountability was realized in the form of the Ministry of Lands being able to repay fully the large amount of money borrowed from the Treasury


People should be able to follow and understand the decision-making process. This will enable them to see clearly how and why a decision was made―what information, advice and consultation was considered, and which legislative requirements were followed.

Mechanisms exist to realize transparency regarding public action on land matters. Proposed land use changes or new land use layout schemes must be made available for public scrutiny and inputs but procedures are many times not followed. Methodologies used to assess the value of land for compensation are usually kept secret

Transparency was wanting with regard to identification of project areas, undertaking aerial photographs, early selection of project beneficiaries, rates for valuation used and the compensation values arrived at,

Follows the rule of law

Decisions are in line with relevant legislation and are within the powers of the authorities, and procedures are not circumvented or short-circuited

There are many examples where rules and procedures exist but are not followed or are translated in ways that give public officials the upper hand

Aspects of the rule of law were circumvented in procedures for identifying project areas, land acquisition,


Public authorities should always try to serve the needs of the entire community while balancing competing interests in a timely, appropriate and responsive manner.

Only in rare cases do public officials conceive land development schemes especially on land that has high value, in the interests of low income households. The latter in one way or the other find themselves removed

Needs of low income households were not given significant consideration

Equitable and inclusive

All members of a community should feel that their interests have been considered by Public authorities in the decision-making process. This means that all groups, particularly the most vulnerable (e.g. low income households), should have opportunities to participate in the process.

The interests of vulnerable groups including women, tenants, children, sharecroppers, pastoralists, tenants, migrants and generally, low income households are usually ignored or given highly limited attention.

Interests of tenants and other non-owning land users were not taken into consideration with regard to compensation. Interests of low income households in general were not accorded significant attention.

Effective and Efficient

Public authorities should implement decisions and follow processes that make the best use of the available people, resources and time to ensure the best possible results for the citizens.

Land development schemes tend to be carried out inefficiently, characterized by grueling bureaucracy, lack of co-ordination, and misuse of resources, resulting into high costs which limit replication to scale.

Execution of the project was effective and efficient with regard to speed of implementation, issuing of title in record time, use of local resources and expertise, and low unit cost for the large number o plots produced.


All those affected by, or interested in, a decision must have the opportunity to participate in the process for making that decision. This can be realized in a number of ways such as community members being provided with information, asked for their opinion, given the opportunity to make recommendations or, in some cases, be part of the actual decision-making process.

Many public authorities eschew public participation in land development matters since this may lead to delays or even rejection of planned schemes; or demand for high compensation.

Public participation was very much inadequate, limited to just delivering information in meetings, of the existence of the project and of the government seeking the cooperation of land owners.