n African Security Review - Revisiting the land question : the land is the economy : feature

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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This article revisits Zimbabwe's land question from the vantage point of having been written five years after the 'fast-track' land redistribution programme was launched. Without belittling the accomplishments of land reform in the first 19 years of the country's independence, it is generally clear that the sweeping programme of 2000-2003, the most comprehensive of its kind, created a new paradigm. Clearly, the consequences will take many years to work themselves out through the country's political, economic and social fabric. <br>The article briefly defines what may be termed 'old' and 'new' versions of Zimbabwe's land question before outlining the salient aspects of the reform process itself. It then assesses the outcomes of the redistribution, the apparent lacuna between 'land' and 'agrarian' reform, and the debate that the reform process itself has kindled. Transforming land distribution into qualitative agrarian reform has proved an Achilles heel in the arguments put forward by the proponents of the fast-track programme. Finally, recommendations are provided as to what is necessary to secure land and agrarian reform in the short, medium and long term.

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