Land Reform in Zimbabwe Revisited: A Qualified Success?
Admos Chimhowu, Lecturer, University of Manchester
Jeanette Manjengwa, Deputy Director, Environmental Studies Institute, University of Zimbabwe
Teresa Smart, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Education
Discussant: Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, Foreign Secretary, UK (1995–97)
Chair: David Simon, Professor of Development Geography, Royal Holloway University
In 2000 Zimbabwe captured headlines around the world when 170,000 black farmers occupied 4,000 white farms. A new book, Zimbabwe Takes Back its Land (Kumarian Press) claims that despite political violence and hyperinflation, the new farmers are doing relatively well, improving their lives and becoming increasingly productive, especially since the US dollar became the local currency. While not minimizing the depredations of the Mugabe government, and accepting that many of President Mugabe's supporters benefited from the ruler's largesse, the book counters the dominant media narratives of oppression and economic stagnation in Zimbabwe.
The speakers, the authors of the book, will argue that the outcome raises important questions for the upcoming elections, and also presents new issues for the international community to consider.