The Land Reform Deception: Political Opportunism in Zimbabwe's Land Seizure Era by Charles LaurieThe Land Reform Deception: Political Opportunism in Zimbabwe's Land Seizure Era by Charles Laurie

The Land Reform Deception: Political Opportunism in Zimbabwe's Land Seizure Era

byCharles Laurie

Hardcover | March 1, 2016

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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 beganthe 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.The state claimed that the seizures occurred in response to a public cry for land redistribution and to rectify colonial-era injustices, and were part of a structured land reallocation program. Yet, land was often distributed ad hoc to those with little or no farming experience. As a result,agricultural output contracted and inflation and unemployment rose dramatically in what became a social and economic disaster for the country. In The Land Reform Deception, Charles Laurie asks why the state would target its own agricultural industry using such violent methods and risk such direconsequences. He also seeks to uncover the major actors and their motivations and strategies. Laurie argues that the seizure of the most valuable farms was largely carried out by politically influential individuals for financial and political gain, rather than to address historical injustices. Infact, he finds that the scale on which the farm invasions were carried out and the violent methods used were never part of a planned government land policy. Indeed, Laurie shows that Mugabe initially opposed the seizures, knowing that they would wreck the economy, only to later support them in orderto appease his supporters and retain political power. Incorporating unprecedented empirical evidence gathered from in-depth interviews with senior politicians, members of the secretive Central Intelligence Organization, the military and police, along with farmers and farm workers who were targeted during the invasions, The Land Reform Deception stripsaway official explanations and delves into the political and economic drivers that triggered the seizure of commercial farms in Zimbabwe.
Charles Laurie was born and raised in Zimbabwe and has had a lifelong interest in the agricultural politics of the region. With an advanced Master's degree from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate from the University of Oxford, he has dedicated his academic career to understanding the political, social and economic influences t...
Title:The Land Reform Deception: Political Opportunism in Zimbabwe's Land Seizure EraFormat:HardcoverDimensions:424 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 1.5 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199398291

ISBN - 13:9780199398294


Table of Contents

ForewordPrefaceAcknowledgmentsList of FiguresList of TablesList of Abbreviations and Acronyms1. Overview of the Land Seizure Era2. ZANU-PF's Land Redistribution Gamble3. Mugabe Targets Agriculture: Land Reform or Political Gimmick?4. Strategy behind Farm Seizures5. Suppressing the MDC6. Seizing Land and Agri-Property7. Moving onto Farms: The Emergence of Extortion and 'Protection' Schemes8. Seizing Farms: Farmer Eviction Methods9. Impact on Commercial Agriculture ProductionConclusionAppendix AAppendix BAppendix C

Editorial Reviews

"The Land Reform Deception opens up new debates on the fast-track land reform process in Zimbabwe. As well as insights from farmers and farm workers, Laurie has also extracted information from a remarkable range of government officials and state protagonists, whose voices are largely missingfrom the current literature on the topic. This book is important reading for all those who seek deeper understanding of events in Zimbabwe since the turn of the millennium." --Rory Pilossof, University of the Free State, and author of The Unbearable Whiteness of Being: Farmers' Voices from Zimbabwe