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Zimbabwe's Land Reform Myths & Realities

Zimbabwe's Land Reform Myths & Realities

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Zimbabwe's Land Reform Myths & Realities

With the collapse of Zimbabwe's economy, and media outcries over a nation apparently bled dry and left starving by the greed of a political elite, South Africa's interest in its neighbour is at its very peak. South Africa is rife with debate over the highly controversial issue of the Zimbabwean land reform, which is often blamed for the situation the country is in today. This book has important implications for our region, and some significant lessons for South Africa itself.

Ten years after the Zimbabwean land invasions of 2000, Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities by Ian Scoones and colleagues, provides the first full account of the actual consequences of these dramatic events. This land reform overturned a century-old pattern of land use, one dominated by a small group of large-scale commercial farmers, many of whom were white. But what replaced it? This book challenges five myths through the examination of the field data from Masvingo province:

Myth 1 Zimbabwean land reform has been a total failure
Myth 2 The beneficiaries of land reform have been largely political 'cronies'
Myth 3 There is no investment in the new resettlements
Myth 4 Agriculture is in complete ruins creating chronic food insecurity
Myth 5 The rural economy has collapsed

By challenging these myths, and suggesting alternative policy narratives, this book presents the story as it has been observed on the ground: warts and all. What comes through very strongly is the complexity, the differences, almost farm by farm: there is no single, simple story of the Zimbabwe land reform as sometimes assumed by press reports, political commentators, or indeed much academic study.

About the Author
Ian Scoones
is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the UK. He has worked on agricultural and rural development issues in Zimbabwe for the past 25 years. He is joint convenor of the Future Agricultures Consortium which supports research and policy dialogue on African agriculture and a member of the editorial collective of the Journal of Peasant Studies. Recent books include: 'Dynamic Sustainabilities: Technology, Environment and Social Justice' and 'Understanding Environmental Policy Processes: Cases from Africa'

Co-authors Nelson Marongwe, Blasio Mavedzenge, Jacob Mahenehene, Felix Murimbarimba and Chrispen Sukume.

Author Ian Scoones
ISBN 9781770099852
Format Paperback
Pages 288p.

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