Land and Natural Resource Redistribution in Zimbabwe: Access, Equity and Con ﬂ ict S AM M OYO A BSTRACT This paper examines the emergence of a complex socio-polit- ical and economic con ﬂ ict over unequal land and natural resources control in Zimbabwe, focusing on the post inde- pendence period from 1980. Colonial expropriation of agri- cultural land and vast natural resource reservoirs, such as indigenous woodlands, water systems and wildlife resources, established a dualistic political-economic landscape charac- terised by competing resource ownership structures and multi- faceted con ﬂ icts. Race dominance of natural resources by a white settler minority class of 4000 commercial farmers with an average of 200 hectares and large scale tourists operators, alongside large state controlled but leased forest and wildlife conservancies marginalized about 1.5 million peasants fami- lies, and other sub-altern classes from the access to key resources. The latter depend on natural resources for most of their basic livelihoods needs. Throughout the ﬁ rst 20 years of indepen- dence this extractive system remained unchanged and was worsened by increased demand for land by a growing rural and unemployed urban population. Neoliberal land reform and environmental management policies based on private property relations
African and Asian Studies – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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