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Zimbabwe Land Series

Sokwanele has invited two specialists on land in Zimbabwe, Prof. Mandi Rukuni and Dr. Dale Doré, to present a series of discussion papers on our website. They have each agreed to write a series of articles over a year on key historical, legal, social and economic issues that have come to define land policy in Zimbabwe. The hope is that Zimbabweans will comment on their ideas through the internet in what should prove to be a lively debate.

Zimbabwe farmers


This is my last article in this series and I have given myself the liberty to dream about the Zimbabwe I would like to see in the future and how the land issue, agriculture, and the environment shape this future.

Zimbabwe farmer
cattle herder - Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe smallholding
Zanupf Rally, 2013
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by Emcee on Thursday, 7 February 2013 - 6:30am
I live in the rural areas and I am trying to make a living from...
by Sokwanele on Friday, 1 February 2013 - 1:18pm
In this article Ben Freeth describes in detail why he will not...
by Sokwanele on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 - 12:01am
Via AfriForum Press Release: The campaign to restore the rule of law...
by Simon Moyo on Thursday, 25 October 2012 - 12:00am
A radiant purple decorates the concrete and glass towers of Harare....
by MadZimbabwe on Monday, 15 October 2012 - 12:00am
I live in drought-prone Masvingo in southern Zimbabwe. My home is in...
by Sokwanele on Friday, 21 September 2012 - 5:26pm
Via SADC Tribunal Watch: Supreme Court of Appeal in South Africa...
by Simon Moyo on Tuesday, 1 May 2012 - 12:33pm
A vuvuzela is the plastic horn that produces the ear splitting sound...

Professor Mandivamba Rukuni

Professor Mandivamba Rukuni was Professor of Agricultural Economics for 20 years and served as Dean of Agriculture at the University of Zimbabwe. During his tenure he was invited to Chair the Commission of Inquiry into Land Tenure Systems in Zimbabwe in 1993. In 1998 he was appointed as Director of the Africa Program for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation where he worked before being asked by the World Bank in 2009 to facilitate Cabinet retreats to support Zimbabwe’s newly formed Inclusive Government. He is currently the Founder and Executive Chairman of the Mandi Rukuni Seminar Group which includes IBS Consulting and the Wisdom Afrika Leadership Academy (WALA). He is also the Founder and Trustee of the Barefoot Education Trust for Afrika (BEAT).

Dr Dale Doré

Dr Dale Doré is a former Oxford scholar and agricultural economist with a special interest in the economics of land tenure systems and the structural transformation of the economy. He has consulted widely on land, rural livelihoods and environmental issues within communal areas of Southern Africa. From 1997 to 2000 he was the regional research co-ordinator of a community-based natural resource management programme in 5 SADC countries. He is currently a Trustee and Director of Shanduko (Centre for Agrarian and Environmental Research), which seeks to promote economically viable livelihoods that are socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable within the context of human rights, democracy and good governance. He was recently invited by UNDP to join a group of eminent economists to prepare a Comprehensive Economic Recovery Strategy for Zimbabwe.

05 April 2012 : Sokwanele

Land series comments

Remaking History: Citizenship, Power, and the Recasting of Heroes and Villains

Alice Stotter : 01 November 2013

A well written and balance story. The problem is that more people will read the fraudeuse book of Joseph Hanlon, Jeanette Manjengwa and Teresa Stewart’s book, Zimbabwe Takes Back the Land...

The Good, The Bad, and The Unworthy: Zimbabwe's Draft Constitution and its Implications for Land Policy

Derek Matyszak : 31 March 2013

Another excellent piece by Dore. Dore which has exposed how ZANU PF has done everything possible to prevent an independent land audit from taking place..and have now crafted a clause in the...

Greg Chiponda : 10 March 2013

lets all vote yes for the new constitution, we can always start amending later the bad parts

nash : 09 March 2013

People dispossessed of land should be compensated fairly since they bought the land. But the sale should not be based on

 market values because the land...

Myths, Reality and The Inconvenient Truth about Zimbabwe's Land Resettlement Programme

Leo Moyo : 15 February 2013

On the point: "t is simply impossible to say whether the events of 1999-2000 were the result of a ground up social protest movement which took hold, or whether the process was set up and...

FriendofZimbabwe : 30 January 2013
FriendofZimbabwe : 29 January 2013

I just want to add to the demolition of the assertion that “it is simply impossible to say whether the events of 1999-2000 were the result of a ground up social protest movement which took hold,...

Sokwanele : 16 December 2012

Ian Scoones has written a response to this article by Dale Dore. Titled 'A growing evidence base: yet more inconvenient truths', you can read it on Scoones' zimbabweland blog here: ...

ERS123 : 07 December 2012

I have just read #7 of 12 weite-ups on land refoerm in Zimbabwe and wish to see the other write-ups.
Just one small comment on #7 at this stage. The phrase should be “On the contrary . . .”...

Andrew Geddes : 06 December 2012

The revolutions that you talk about? What has that got to do with the roles that the agricultural sector need to do to get the economy going? To get the economy going Zimbabwe need to concentrate...

A Law Unto Themselves (Part 1) : Making and Breaking the Laws of the Land

True grit : 02 August 2012

But, nevertheless, there is a silver lining, which is that good governance is as contagious as bad governance. As it becomes evident that African countries can grow rapidly, there is more pressure...

Why Zimbabwe needs to maintain a multi-form land tenure system

Sokwanele : 18 July 2012

By ‘foreigners’ Professor Rukuni means all non-Zimbabweans. In relation to all Zimbabweans he has further commented:

“I have always believed that Zimbabweans of all races should have equal...

Boniface Ndamande : 17 July 2012

You mention “No sales to foreigners should be allowed”. Does “foreigner” mean white ?

The significance of land compensation for rehabilitation of Zimbabwe’s land sector

True grit : 06 July 2012

@Ndashaishei -
Why do you think it is that cooperative and commercial union type...

Farai : 06 July 2012


Ndashaishei you have obviously missed the whole point of this land reform...

Ndashaishei : 04 July 2012

I thought what was imperative now is ensuring the full production of the new farmers from communal, A1, A2 and large commercial farmers? I thought a fund that we need now is a fund that supports...

The Poverty Trap – The Economics Of Communal Land Use

True grit : 21 June 2012

This is an interesting series. perhaps privatization is the only answer to the challenge of living communally in an era of globalization, individualism, and capitalism. That way commercialization...

landrights4all : 14 June 2012

The model in the west is private ownership of land. This has indeed led to investment and the generation of wealth for some … but to poverty and aid dependence (welfare) for others.


Changing the rules of the resettlement game: The descent from developmental to predatory state

True grit : 19 June 2012

This narrative perhaps serves as a reminder of how not to run a country, and the danger that ‘revolutionary’ movements pose when they come to power if they do not act responsibly and refuse the...

My perspective on the on-going preparations for a National Land Audit

Jack McLellan : 30 May 2012

After reading Mr Rukuni’s letter I got to codgitating about the land audit.How did the previous land audits identify who occupies what?. Is it a case of Temba has that land and Moses has that one...

Wilson Magaya : 24 May 2012

It respectable that you, professor Rukuni take leadership in the discourse around the land issue.

I would like to hear more on the land tenure, system followed by the changes that each of...

The Nationalist Narrative and Land Policy in Zimbabwe

True grit : 06 May 2012

Mugabe is driven primarily by emotions. He launches racist diatribes about whites at every rally. This explains why he was prepared to destroy Zimbabwe’s economy in the cause of relaunching a...

Zimbabwe Land Series: Introduction

Wynand Hart : 15 April 2012

Friday, April 06, 2012
9:28 AM

In the current process of “Land...

Tinashe : 06 April 2012

because two evils will never produce good. Lets not be prisoners of the past and miss the opportunity of the future.

Chose : 05 April 2012

Why should the fomer land holders be paid when they stole it from us in the first place. Why sanitise thieves in the first place.

Land as a ‘racial’ issue and the lost opportunities to resolve the matter

UK Diaspora : 14 April 2012

Professor Rukuni,

Reading your paper I feel that I need to know about the role of the CFU in the land issue and hope this will be covered in the series.

I have always felt that the...

Jack McLellan : 14 April 2012

[Comment submitted by email]

I would like to respond to Prof Rukuni”s article dated 13/04/12.

I ask is there a place for race issue in the land question now. After the elections in...

True grit : 13 April 2012

There may indeed be a ‘bigger point’ in terms of Mugabe looting land to give to his ‘cronies’ but that is not how the world sees the issue. Just 15 years after the end of white minority rule the...

Why the land issue continues to define Zimbabwe’s past present and future

Christian Allard : 13 April 2012

A very good article stating the facts which is a rare event when talking about much needed land reform in Zimbabwe.
Of course land reform is not based on economic grounds but it is a...

Jack : 11 April 2012

A certain portion of the black Southern African population is so adamant about land because they have no drive to better themselves.
Their idea of paradise is sitting getting handouts from...

Chris Jarrett : 10 April 2012

[Comment sent to Sokwanele by email]

Dear Sokwanele,

Firstly well done on obtaining the input of these two experts, Professor Rukuni and Dale Dore, to thrash out a sensible solution...

Anonymous : 10 April 2012

I would argue that the race issue has in fact been resolved; only people with black skins can own land. Since most of the Zimbabwean people are black, they are happy with this. I would also argue...

Jack McLellan : 10 April 2012

If the communal land ocupiers had title think what a power they would be in the imdustry. They would be in a majority and could then shape the industry to their needs. True ecomonic empowerment....

Anonymous : 06 April 2012

Hi, This is a very good article, but there is one date that is not correct. You state that the fast track land resettlement ended in 2008, but this is not the case. It is still on going. At least...