Communal Land Act

Acts 20/1982, 8/1985, 21/1985, 8/1988, 18/1989 (s. 32), 3/1992, 25/1998 (s. 53), 22/2001 (s. 4), 13/2002 (s. 142).





  1. Short title


  1. Extent of Communal Land.
  2. Vesting of Communal Land.
  3. Description of Communal Land.
  4. Additions to and subtractions from Communal Land.


  1. Restriction on right to occupy or use Communal Land.
  2. Occupation and use of Communal Land for agricultural or residential purposes.
  3. Permits to occupy and use Communal Land.
  4. Setting aside of Communal Land for certain purposes.
  5. Servitudes relating to water rights over Communal Land.



  1. By-laws of rural district councils.
  2. Model by-laws.
  3. Penalties and orders of ejectment.

AN ACT to provide for the classification of land in Zimbabwe as Communal Land and for the alteration of such classification; to alter and regulate the occupation and use of Communal Land; and to provide for matters incidental to or connected with the foregoing.

[Date of commencement: 1st February, 1983.]



1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Communal Land Act [Chapter 20:04].

                       2    Interpretation

In this Act—

“Communal Land” means land referred to as Communal Land in section three;

“inhabitant”, in relation to any Communal Land or part thereof, means a person who is entitled, in terms of this

Act, to reside in that Communal Land or part thereof;

“Minister” means the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“use”, in relation to Communal Land, includes the erection of any building or enclosure, ploughing, hoeing, the cutting of vegetation, the depasturing of animals or the taking of sand, stone or other materials therefrom.


 3.   Extent of Communal Land

Communal Land shall consist of land which, immediately before the 1st February, 1983, was Tribal Trust Land in terms of the Tribal Trust Land Act, 1979 (No.6 of 1979), subject to any additions thereto or subtractions therefrom made in terms of section six.

                       4    Vesting of Communal Land

Communal Land shall be vested in the President, who shall permit it to be occupied and used in accordance with this Act.

                       5    Description of Communal Land

  • The Minister shall, by statutory instrument, publish a description of the area of Communal Land.
  • The Minister may from time to time, by statutory instrument, amend any instrument published in terms of subsection (1), or any replacement of such instrument, in order— (a) more clearly to describe the area of Communal Land; or

(b) to change the name or other designation of any Communal Land: or (c) to correct any error in the description of any Communal Land.

  • If the instrument referred to in subsection (1) has been amended in terms of subsection (2) or in terms of subsection (2) of section six, the Minister may, by statutory instrument, repeal and replace such instrument with a further instrument describing the area of Communal Land as at the date of such replacement and may thereafter, from time to time, likewise repeal and replace any instrument published in terms of this subsection.
  • No statutory instrument published in terms of this section shall have the effect of transferring any land to or from Communal Land.

                       6     Additions to and subtractions from Communal Land

(1) Subject to this Act, the Forest Act [Chapter 19:05] and the Parks and Wild Life Act [Chapter 20:14], the

President may, by statutory instrument

  • declare that any State Land shall form part of Communal Land;
  • after consultation with any rural district council established for the area concerned, declare that any land within Communal Land shall cease to form part of Communal land
  • Whenever the President has published a declaration in terms of subsection (1), the Minister shall, by statutory instrument, amend the instrument published in terms of subsection (1) or (3) of section five, as the case may be, to reflect such declaration.
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  • Create Date June 19, 2020
  • Last Updated July 17, 2020