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Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe

 Author: Sam Moyo, Walter Chambati  Category: Books (Others), Books at the Centre  Publisher: African Books Collective  Published: March 2, 2024

The Fast Track Land Reform Programme implemented during the 2000s in Zimbabwe represents the only instance of radical redistributive land reforms since the end of the Cold War. It reversed the racially-skewed agrarian structure and discriminatory land tenures inherited from colonial rule. The land reform also radicalised the state towards a nationalist, introverted accumulation strategy, against a broad array of unilateral Western sanctions. Indeed, Zimbabwe’s land reform, in its social and political dynamics, must be compared to the leading land reforms of the twentieth century, which include those of Mexico, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Cuba and Mozambique. The fact that the Zimbabwe case has not been recognized as vanguard nationalism has much to do with the ‘intellectual structural adjustment’ which has accompanied neoliberalism and a hostile media campaign. This has entailed dubious theories of neopatrimonialism, which reduce African politics and the state to endemic corruption, patronage, and tribalism while overstating the virtues of neoliberal good governance. Under this racist repertoire, it has been impossible to see class politics, mass mobilization and resistance, let alone believe that something progressive can occur in Africa.