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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What happened to the land question in Zimbabwe? Rural reform in the 1980s
Author:Gasper, D.R.
Periodical:Review of Rural and Urban Planning in Southern and Eastern Africa
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
Subjects:land reform
agricultural policy
rural development
Land settlement
rural planning
Abstract:In the late 1970s 'the land question' (the division of land between white capitalist and black peasant farmers) was usually presented as critical to Zimbabwe's postindependence options. This paper outlines the rural policies and debates which took place in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, with an emphasis on land reform. Views on the slow progress in land reform in the 1980s fall mostly into two: those which see it as reflecting the balance of group interests, and that tend to be disappointed; and others which see it as a rational choice in terms of a broader national interest. The author poses the issues and suggests that decisionmakers became sensitive to factors which could plausibly be felt to make much faster resettlement in the 1980s relatively unattractive. The major influences and limits on policy in the 1980s are sketched first. Next, the author looks at resettlement to (former) white-owned farms, at constraints on the resettlement programme, and at options and dilemmas facing the government. The reasons are noted why it was decided to concentrate attention on programmes in the peasant lands now known as Communal Areas. This is followed by a sketch of these Communal Areas, including the organizational restructuring and associated land reforms that are under way there. The final part of the article notes the reemergence in 1989 of resettlement high on the political agenda. It then summarizes the 1980s debate and considers the 1990s prospects. Bibliogr., notes, ref.