Zimbabwe opts for biometrics to fight fraud in issuance of land title deeds
Residents of the Zimbabwean town of Epworth are looking forward to receiving biometric land title deeds as the government in Harare hopes the move can help fight alarming fraud in the sector.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa gave the re-assurance recently during a rally of the ruling ZANU-PF party to celebrate the victory of lawmaker Zalerah Makari after a by-election, Bulawayo24 reports. The President had made a similar promise during campaigns ahead of the by-elections.
It is common practice in Epworth for fraudsters to print out fake title deeds and pose as legitimate owners of plots of land, according to the report.
“When we were printing titles, we were told that there are people who are printing their own fraudulent copies. We instructed the printers to stop printing so that we issue you with biometric title deeds which are similar to e-passports,” President Mnangagwa told an excited Epworth rally, as cited by Bulawayo24.
Meanwhile, addressing journalists during a press conference later on the issue, the ruling party’s spokesperson, Christopher Mutsvangwa, said the new format of title deeds will bring a whole new experience to landowners in Zimbabwe.
Mutsvangwa said he had been reliably told that about 80,000 households have already been earmarked for the title deeds which will be handed to them by the President himself.
Another report by Zimeye quotes the president as saying during the rally that the biometric title deeds have been designed with security features which will make it difficult for fraudsters to duplicate.
The production of the documents, he said, is in the hands of a German contractor, and an order has been placed for printing many thousands of copies already.
Zimbabwe also just started issuing new generation biometric passports which the government believes will fight fraud which had plagued the issuance of the travel document for many years.