Outcomes of post-2000 Fast Track Land Reform in Zimbabwe

Ben Cousins, Jocelyn Alexander, Lionel Cliffe & Rudo Gaidzanwa



The struggle over land has been the central issue in Zimbabwe ever since white settlers began to carve out large farms over a century ago. Their monopolisation of the better-watered half of the land was the focus of the African war of liberation war, and was partially modified following Independence in 1980. A dramatic further episode in this history was launched at the start of the last decade with the occupation of many farms by groups of African veterans of the liberation struggle and their supporters, which was then institutionalised by legislation to take over most of the large commercial farms for sub-division. This book was published as a special issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.


This book will be an essential starting place for analysts, policy-makers, historians and activists seeking to understand what has happened and to spotlight the key issues for the next decade.


Ben Cousins' research is strategic and use-oriented, for policy-makers and civil society groups concerned with reducing poverty and inequality through redistributing assets, securing rights and democratising decision-making in rural areas.

Jocelyn Alexander is professor of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford University. Her research interests lie in the social and political history of southern Africa.

Lionel R Cliffe was an English political economist and activist whose work has focused on the struggle for land rights and freedom in Africa, from the 1960s to the present. He died in 2013.

Rudo Gaidzanwa is a professor at the University of Zimbabwe. Her research interests include Industrial Sociology; Gender and Education.