Land Reform in Zimbabwe, 1980-1990

April 1990
Robin Palmer (African Affairs, 89, April 1990, pp.163-81)

A study of land reform in Zimbabwe during the first decade of independence reissued here because of its striking relevance to current controversies. Asks why the issue of land reform, apparently so burning at the time of independence, went so quickly off the political agenda, only to be revived in 1989 as an election approached and the 10-year Lancaster House agreement was about to expire. Examines the roles of the Zimbabwean and British Governments, their different perceptions and quarrels, and that of the Commercial Farmers’ Union. Mentions the issues of under-utilized land and a possible land tax. Assesses the first decade of the resettlement programme, including a very positive ODA review. Concludes that Zimbabweans will probably have to wait much longer for land reform.