n African Renaissance - Land expropriation in Zimbabwe and its lessons for Namibia and South Africa

Volume 16 Number Special Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305



The land question has remained an albatross on southern African countries that were born out of European settler colonialism. Zimbabwe attempted to put a closure on the land question through compulsory land expropriation without compensation for the land, after the failure of the willing buyer willing seller policy and the British reneging from their colonial responsibility to fund land purchases for resettlement. However, the policy which was triggered by land occupations/invasions in 1998 and officialised by the government in 2001 had some disastrous consequences on the national economy. Given that Namibia and South Africa are now facing land agitations as was the case with Zimbabwe, it is prudent for these countries to look at the Zimbabwean case and derive beneficial lessons, which was the primary objective of this paper. The paper concluded that the most important lesson is that any land reform should not be undertaken under emotional conditions or for political expedience. Such policies fail to appreciate important socio-economic factors that should be taken on-board.

The paper was undertaken primarily using the review of literature on the land question as well as the economic issues of Zimbabwe.

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