The Land Reform Deception

Political Opportunism in Zimbabwe's Land Seizure Era

Charles Laurie



The Land Reform Deception looks at a particularly contentious period in Zimbabwe's recent history, from 2000-2008, when the government seized commercial farms using illegal and violent methods against a largely unarmed population of farmers and farm workers. Robert Mugabe's government began the seizures on a small, targeted scale in an effort to suppress political opposition groups, but they soon escalated into an out-of-control frenzy targeting all farms in the country.


[Laurie] presents a wealth of new empirical information that challenges the way in which we have understood land seizures in Zimbabwe. It is a great testament to the value of in-depth fieldwork, and will inspire fresh debates on a number of important topics. -Nic Cheeseman, Associate Professor in African Politics, Oxford University


Charles Laurie was born and raised in Zimbabwe and has had a lifelong interest in the agricultural politics of the region. He has dedicated his academic career to understanding the political, social and economic influences that undermine development in southern Africa.