Land tenure reform in Zimbabwe Essay

Get your original paper written from scratch starting at just $10 per page with a plagiarism report and free revisions included!









Hire A Writer

Write an essay in which you discuss land tenure reform in Zimbabwe / South Africa or Namibia. In your discussion use the perquisites for land tenure reform identified by van de Wall. Then evaluate whether these perquisites for land tenure reform are still acceptable inn your study.

Table of Contents_____________________________________________________Page: Introduction
Perquisites for land tenure reform by van de Wall
Land reform in Zimbabwe
Is van de Wall’s perquisites still relevant to Zimbabwe’s land reform Conclusion


With the independence of Zimbabwe the new government implemented land reform in order to relieve the increasing population pressure on the country. I will discuss the perquisites of land reform by van de Wall and compare that to the land reform tenure of Zimbabwe. Discussing whether or not van de Wall’s perquisites are applicable to Zimbabwe’s land reform.


“Land-tenure reforms present a major challenge to policymakers, such as reducing rural poverty while avoiding socially unacceptable inequalities in land ownership and living standards” (Ravaillon and van de Walle 2008). Van de Wall puts forward certain requirements in order for successful land reform. The rural population must actively take part in the land reform tenure as the programme is aimed at boosting the previous disadvantaged population of the country. In order to do so Steward, du Plessis, Mazibuko and Moloi (2010:82) state: “one needs qualified and skill staff as land reform actions imply high costs in surveying, registration, resettlement and so forth” The government must be active in the reform to minimise constrains that prevent the rural population from accessing credit, support and technical services and infra-structural development. Also to attend to job creation for the farming community who has lost there land due to reforms as farming is often there only livelihood and means of income.

It’s important to stress that the settlement of farmers should be on the farmers own account and that they should be self-sufficient and accept responsibility for their livelihood. Government must as a priority provide resources and clear policies to enable farm dwellers to realise their land rights also provide farmers with security in respect of land rights and that legislation affords protection. Farmers must receive compensation should these rights be violated – farmers must be protected from evictions and have secured tenure not linked to employment.


Zimbabwe became independent in the 1980’s when most fertile farmlands were predominantly owned by white / commercial farmers. This was a problem as “population density was low in the large commercial farm areas whereas in small farm areas overpopulation beyond carrying capacity was predominant and most farms have become too small to earn a living” (Blanckenburg1994:329). The black population of Zimbabwe was promised fertile farming land after independence – which was “bought” from the profitable, commercial and predominantly white farmers. These pieces of land was given to previously disadvantage black people so instead of a few commercial farms only being owned by the minority (white) it was now subdivided into smaller pieces of arable farmland and given to the black population. The vision of the government was to increase employment and income distribution between white and black people


No, van de Wall stated land reform must be given to skilled and educated people, whereas the Zimbabwe government preference inexperienced settlers and liberation fighters. The Zimbabwe government abolished the following Lancaster House Agreement of 1979. Stating the willing buyer (government), willing seller (farmer) principle whereby the selling farmer could decide whether or not to sell their farm was – abolished by the government who could determine independently which farms to acquire. The new land owners did not poses the skills to efficiently run farms which led to the crash of the tobacco industry.


The land reform act of Zimbabwe was politically orientated eventually leading up to such a point where farmers where murdered and land was forcefully taken with inadequate compensation. Where Zimbabwe was once seen as a major food and economic leader they now the poorest country in Africa even though there leader president Mugabe is the richest man in Africa.


Ravallion,M and D. van de Walle.2008. Land in transition:Reformand Povertyin Rural Vietnam. Washington,DC Policy Research Paper 2951/ New York: The World Bank/ Palgrave Macmillian Steward, PDS, du Plessis, IMM, Mazibuko, SG, Moloi, R. 2010. Only study guide for DVA3702. Pretoria: University of South Africa