Livelihoods after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Paper 6

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					Livelihoods after Land Reform
         in Zimbabwe

           Working Paper 6

Institutions, Leadership and Service Delivery in New
          Resettlement Areas of Zimbabwe
                Susan Chido Marimira


                      June 2010
Livelihoods after land reform in Zimbabwe
Working Paper Series
The land reform that has unfolded in Zimbabwe since 2000 has resulted in a major reconfiguration of
land use and economy. Over 7 million hectares of land has been transferred to both small-scale farm
units (the A1 model) and larger scale farms (the A2 model). The land reform has had diverse
consequences, and there is no single story of what happened and its implications.

The Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex, UK), the Institute for Poverty, Land and
Agrarian Studies (PLAAS, University of the Western Cape, South Africa), the African Institute for Agrarian
Studies (AIAS, Harare), the Centre for Applied Social Sciences Trust (CASS Trust, Harare) and the Ruzivo
Trust (Harare) came together to support a small grant competition aimed at generating new case study
insights based on original and recent field research by young Zimbabwean scholars. The aim was to bring
together solid, empirical evidence from recent research in the field. There were over 70 applicants, and
15 small grants were offered. The result is this Working Paper series. All papers have been reviewed and
they have been lightly edited. In all cases however they remain work-in-progress.

Today policymakers are grappling with the question of ‘what next’? How can a new agrarian structure
be supported, and a vibrant rural economy be developed? Yet such discussions are often taking place in
a vacuum, with limited empirical data from the ground and overshadowed by misperceptions and
inappropriate assumptions. We hope this series – together with the wider research work being
undertaken by our organisations and partners – will help to enhance policy making through a solid
evidence base.

As these papers clearly show, there have been highly varied impacts of the post-2000 land reform: on
rural livelihoods, on agricultural production, on markets and the economy, on farm workers and
employment, on the environment and on institutions and governance arrangements, for example. And
these impacts have played out in very different ways in different places. These papers cover a range of
themes and offer insights from across the country.

They add up to a complex picture, but one that offers key pointers for the way forward. They counter
the excessively pessimistic picture often painted about Zimbabwe’s land reform, yet highlight important
failings and future challenges. We very much hope that they are widely read and shared, with the
insights made use of as Zimbabwe charts its way forward.

Professor Ian Scoones, Institute of Development Studies, UK
Professor Ben Cousins, Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies, South Africa
Professor Sam Moyo, African Institute for Agrarian Studies, Harare
Dr Nelson Marongwe, Centre for Applied Social Sciences Trust, Harare
Dr Prosper Matondi, Ruzivo Trust, Harare

The small grant competition was coordinated through the Livelihoods after Land Reform research
programme (www.larl.org.za).




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Summary
The Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in Zimbabwe has brought about a number of
institutional and organisational changes. New institutions and organisations have emerged while the
old ones realigned or restrategised to meet the changes that were posed by the massive and rapid influx
of people into the commercial white farms. These structures were formed from farm level to national
level so as to guide implementation of the FTLRP and policy reformulation, respectively. The period
under review has been characterised by record-breaking economic decline and political challenges
which have resulted in the weakening of most is not all government departments and line ministries. In
the limelight have been non-state actors and the agro-based private sector companies which have been
providing broad support including agriculture inputs and extension to the newly resettled farmers.

On the other hand, settler innovation through formation of farmer groups and associations has been
witnessed on a number of farms. At the lowest level, the role of the traditional leadership in governing
settler activities has been very crucial, enhanced through enforcing the existing legislative framework.
Due to the economic hardships that both central and local governments have been experiencing, the
settlers have been staying on the farms with rudimentary infrastructure that was left by the white
commercial farmers and in some instances was vandalised by the new settlers. The quick and
excruciating thoughts to one’s mind are what are the new set-ups, to what extent have the settlers
adapted to the new living conditions, what new innovations have been put in place by the settlers
themselves and the roles of government and non state actor. The study attempts to analyse the changes
that have occurred over time to institutions, leadership and service delivery in the newly resettled farms
with specific reference to Dunstan and Rochester Farms in Goromonzi District, Zimbabwe.




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Contents

Summary                                                   iii
Acronyms                                                  vi
Introduction                                              1
Background                                                1
Study areas                                               4
Research process, data collection and research findings   6
Conclusion                                                14
References                                                16




                                                           iv
v
Acronyms
AGRITEX    Department of Agricultural, Technical and Extension Services
AREX       Department of Agricultural Research and Extension
CSO        Central Statistical Office
DA         District Administrator
DDF        District Development Fund
DLC        District Land Committee
DNR        Department of Natural Resources
DR&SS      Department of Research and Specialist Services
FTLRP      Fast Track Land Reform Programme
GRDC       Goromonzi Rural District Council
VIDCO      Village Development Committee
ZANU-PF    Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front Party




                                                                          vi
Introduction
The Zimbabwe Government officially launched the Fast Track Land Reform and Resettlement
Programme in 2000 after massive random farm invasions by ZANU-PF linked war veterans. The period
was followed by efforts to rationalise the invasions in the form of organised farm settlements and
distribution of inputs to boost agricultural productivity. The period was also characterised by formation
of local, district, provincial and national structures that purported to be governing land use and natural
resource utilisation. The aim of the research was to analyse the institutional, leadership and service
delivery changes that have occurred over time in two resettlement areas in Goromonzi district,
Mashonaland East Province of Zimbabwe. The study tries to explore the reasons for these changes as
they are linked to places of origin and settler characteristics, which was further influencing relationships
with local government officials at district level.


Background
The period, 2000-2001 was characterised by massive movement of people into commercial farms which
were previously owned by a white minority population amounting to 4,500 white commercial farmers in
the whole country. The invaders were mainly coming from close-by communal areas and urban informal
settlements in search of agricultural land (Marongwe 2003). The invaders would invade the farms that
were within their vicinities as they would allow them to maintain support from their rural areas. During
the early 1980s, the primary rationale behind land reform and resettlement has mainly been to reduce
poverty and decongesting communal areas thus addressing inequalities in land ownership that was as a
result of colonial regimes (Moyo and Yeros 2009). There was however a shift of focus during the fast
track land resettlement, where no selection criteria for beneficiaries for the programme was considered
as war veterans mobilised villagers and urban based groups to occupy farms, with the support of the
government. In Zimbabwe, the land reform exercise has directly benefited 140 000 families both among
the rural peasants and their urban counterparts (Moyo and Yeros 2009).

Studies conducted by Moyo and Yeros (2009) show that land utilisation has increased significantly by
slightly more than the 40% mark that prevailed before the farm invasions. However, agricultural
productivity has remained low as a result of a number of factors including lack of farming inputs in the
form of suitable seed varieties, recurrent droughts, limited farming equipment and farming expertise,
negative effects of HIV and AIDS resulting in labour shortages and the erosion of agricultural farming
knowledge and limited support from the government in the form of agricultural loans and other
subsidies (Moyo and Yeros 2005; Cousins and Scoones 2009). According to Cousins (2008), the new
agrarian structure in Zimbabwe is promising as it will bring food sovereignty1 if the new farmers are
supported and an enabling economic and trading environment is created (Rosset, et al. 2006).

A number of challenges arising from land reform in sub-Saharan Africa are being experienced with
respect to local land administration. These are mainly stemming from the plurality and coexistence of
systems of authority related to land (Toulmin and Quan 2000). In Zimbabwe for example, traditional
leadership structures have played a central role in governance issues including land administration in


1
 Food sovereignty defines the whole agrarian and rural development policy package that will be needed to reduce
poverty, protect the environment and enhance broad based economic development (Rosset, et al 2006).

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communal areas. Their roles were even extended villagised resettlement models. On the other hand,
local government through the Department of Physical Planning and Ministry of Lands has been active in
land demarcation, land allocation and acquisition. The two land administrations structures (central and
local government) have been both supported by laws and regulations in controlling their mandates.
Specifically, the existence of both statutory and customary laws, beliefs and practices in governing land
and land resources has created problems. For instance, the overlapping responsibilities and sometimes
lack of clarity on roles of the two institutions has invariably led to conflict over resources and has
impacted negatively on development.

Following political independence, many governments attempted to break the power of customary chiefs
in land allocation and land use regulation by taking formal ownership of land. In some cases, chiefly
structures were considered feudal and/or archaic. However, efforts to do away with traditional
leadership structures have been unsuccessful given weak authority of most central governments in
many countries and their inability to exert de facto control over land management and allocation
(Alexander 2006).

In Zimbabwe traditional leadership structures have been key in land allocation and land management
mainly in communal areas and later in the resettlement areas. The Presidential Commission on Land
Tenure that established the most serious conflicts over land took place in the communal areas and were
worsened by the breakdown of administrative structures, the erosion of authority and responsibility
(Rukuni 1994). These often involved tension and conflict between elected leadership and traditional
leaders especially over land allocation (Marongwe 2003). The Traditional Leaders Act of 1998 was
received with scepticism as it came to over-emphasise the powers of the traditional leaders yet they
were sidelined during the Chimurenga 1 and 2 periods. Traditional leaders were perceived as
instruments of indirect rule by the colonial administration and “sell-outs”. The 1998 Traditional Leaders
Act was reinforcing control and power of traditional leaders and to win their hearts, an incentive
through monthly pay-outs was introduced hence they could be manipulated and brought under control
by the local government administrative structures (Centre for Conflict Resolution 2008).

Traditional leadership control has even been further extended to resettlement areas where chiefs,
headmen and village heads are imposed on settlers by the district authorities. This has been a paradox
to many as the roles of the traditional leadership are very limited because land allocation and land
disputes are dealt with by the land committees at district level. In addition, enforcement of socio-
cultural rules, regulations and practices is a challenge in terms of their effectiveness and acceptability, as
settlers vary significantly in relation to place of origin hence divergent values and norms (Chatiza 2003).

On the other hand, there are myriad of local government structures at local and district levels that
govern land resource utilisation and those that are charged with providing basic agricultural, social and
education services to the settlers. These include Department of Agricultural Extension, the Rural District
Council, the District Administrator’s office, the Department of Natural Resources, the District
Development Fund (DDF), to mention a few. Much detail about the effectiveness of these central and
local government structures will be discussed in detail. Of significance is the Committee of Seven or the
Seven Member Committee as it is popularly referred to by settlers in both Rochester and Dunstan farms.
This could be equated to the Village Development Committee (VIDCO) that was institutionalised in the
early 1980s to spearhead development in communal and Phase 1 resettlement areas.

Service delivery to land reform beneficiaries is crucial for improving the quality of life and also to attract
private investment. The provision of adequate, appropriate and well managed productive/economic,

                                                                                                             2
social services and infrastructure is important to the success of the land reform programme. Service
delivery in the newly resettled farming areas was a prerogative of the government. In A1 resettlement
areas, the Government of Zimbabwe policy in infrastructure allocation and utilisation tends to treat
social infrastructure such as schools and clinics as state property, while productive infrastructure such as
dip tanks, irrigation equipment and tobacco barns as state assets which would be shared by all
inhabitants at the farm (Moyo 2004). However due to dwindling government funding, service provision
has been compromised in the newly resettled farmers.

The services range from agriculture related, social to economic. Agriculture support services include
research and extension services, tillage, input support, credit and marketing of farmer produce.
Agriculture services are important in increasing productivity as it transfers agricultural knowledge and
technologies to farmers. The level of service provision has dwindled to below optimal levels. Reforms
were introduced in 2002 to cope with the huge demand for agriculture services. For instance, the
merging of the Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS) and the Department of
Agricultural Extension (AGRITEX) to form the Department of Agricultural Research and Extension (AREX).
The institutional changes also saw the training of close to 8 000 extension workers through an
accelerated curriculum that was even decentralised at other non-agricultural training centres (Moyo
2004). There is generally high extension worker/farmer ratio which was estimated at 1:366 in
Mashonaland West (Moyo 2004). An AREX officer resident at Dunstan farm indicated that he is
responsible for about 187 farmers spread in five A1 and seven A2 farms. A2 farmer extension was
indicated as only upon request. Interviews with the settlers at Dunstan farm revealed a high level of
extension worker contact. This is probably because the AREX officer is resident on the farm. In addition,
the government assisted input scheme programme that saw new institutional mandate within the
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the Grain Marketing Board had high expectations in bolstering
agricultural productivity with the small to medium scale farmers. The Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe
also provided loans at farm level and the government influenced the relation of lending conditions to
the farmers by for instance relaxing collateral requirements for the farmers. However, the availability of
the different state sponsored services has been limited to new farmers mainly because of the economic
challenges highlighted above.

Other non-state actors like the private agro-dealers, agro-processors and non-governmental
organisations have been crucial in backstopping the limited extension services provided by government
departments. However, their support has been focussed towards limited crops and limited in
geographical coverage. For instance, respondents at Dunstan especially those who are growing tobacco
and paprika indicated that they have been receiving extension support from Salt- Lakes2, a private agro-
dealer that provides agronomical services to the settlers.

On the other hand, social services include the provisioning of the following facilities; healthcare,
education, water, sanitation and hygiene, recreation and accommodation. Social infrastructure such as
clinics, boreholes for safe drinking water and schools are important. Generally, the availability and
functionality of infrastructure at the farms is varied. For instance some farms had their infrastructure
vandalised by the new settlers during the period of farm invasions, while some farm equipment and
infrastructure remained intact. This implies that the new settlers have variable opportunities at their



2
 Salt-lakes group at Dunstan Farm is a marketing cooperative which encourages individual growing of tobacco and
then market the produce collectively (Murisa 2010)

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disposal for future growth. For example, Dunstan farm has more infrastructure that is fairly intact as
compared to the infrastructure that is at Rochester farm.


Study areas
Goromonzi District is one of the nine districts in Mashonaland East Province. The district is bordered by
Marondera to the east, Harare to the west, Manyame to the south and Murehwa and Domboshava to
the north. The district has an approximate area of 2 519 square kilometres. According to the 2002
Census, Goromonzi district has 77 509 males and 78 251 females living in the rural areas. Twenty-two
thousand and thirty eight (22 038) are urban based (10 867 males and 11 171 females (Central Statistical
Office 2002). The existence of a significant number of urban settlers in Goromonzi district and other
nearby urban settlements such as Mabvuku, Tafara, Epworth and Chitungwiza shaped the pattern of
farm invasions and occupation. At present, the district has 26 wards down from 29 in 2001. This was as a
result of the delineations during the 2008 Presidential elections which resulted in some urban wards
being combined with rural ones so as to neutralise the urban bias towards the opposition parties.

Formal education attained by people in Goromonzi District is very low. According to the 1996
Goromonzi Rural District Council survey, 14.92% of the population were never at school and may
therefore be illiterate while 45.74% received basic primary school education. Females constitute the
majority (32.60%) in the ‘never been to school’ category and the primary school leavers. Those who
went beyond secondary school constitute only 1.61% of the population in the district and there are few
females in this category (0.34%) (GRDC 1996). The low educational levels prevalent in the district have
potentially a negative impact on social development in the district. However, with the coming in of
settlers, after the Fast Track Land Reform and resettlement, new patterns have been noticed especially
on resettled farms (Marongwe 2008). This is further corroborated by research that was conducted by
the researcher and results will be shown in detail in the following sections of the report.

In terms of the physical characteristics, Goromonzi District lies in agro-ecological Natural Region IIa and
IIb which are characterised by high rainfall patterns ranging from 1000-1200mm per annum. However,
variability within different parts of the district and within different years is very high. Climate varies in
altitude from between 1300m and 1550m above sea level. Granitic and doleritic rock outcrops have
influenced the formation of different soil types. The soil types range from deep sandy soils, sand loamy
to deep red clay soils.

Goromonzi District is extensively covered by miombo vegetation which is however dwindling because of
uncontrolled cutting down of trees especially in the farms by communal, peri-urban and urban dwellers.
Firewood selling has become key livelihood source for people from these areas and the demand has
been further stretched by the erratic supply of electricity in the urban and peri-urban areas. The most
common tree species include; mutondo (Julbernardia globiflora), muunze (Brachystegia globiflora),
musasa (Brachystegia spiciformis), muhacha (Parinari curatellifolia) and mupfuti (Brachystegia boehmii).
In some parts of the district, for example in the Chinhamora area the vegetation mainly consists of
Terminalia sericia (mususu) because of the deep sandy soils. Lichens are also common on the granite
and dolerite rock outcrops. Small pockets of unusual protected vegetation also occur, for example, the
Binga Swamp Forest covering approximately twenty hectares in Chishawasha.

Prior to land reform in 2000, major economic activities in Goromonzi District included agriculture (both
communal and commercial), mining, eco-tourism, mining and urban employment (GRDC 1996). This has

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since changed following the land reform and resettlement programme and the general economic
meltdown. Mining activities which were active in the district like the Enterprise Belt which formerly
yielded 36, 20 tonnes of gold per annum have been allocated to the small-scale miners and production
levels have drastically done down.

The two study sites selected for this survey are located in two separate former Large- Scale Commercial
Farming areas, namely; Dunstan and Rochester Farms. Dunstan Estate is approximately forty-five
kilometers off Harare-Mutare Road. The farm is closely located to Epworth, a squatter settlement to the
west of the farm. To the south of the farm is Seke Communal Lands and Chitungwiza. The two are
separated by Manyame River. Actual settlement on the farm commenced in 2001 but invasion took
place in 1998. To date, the farm has 116 settlers who are settled in four villages (Marimira, October
2009 Survey results). According to a survey conducted by Marongwe (2005-2008), records showed that
the farm had 115 settlers. In 2001, the settlers were 110 (Marimira 2003). The increase in the number of
settlers possibly shows that additional settlers were allocated plots in the area after 2001/2002.
Majority of the settlers originated from Epworth, Ruwa and Chitungwiza and are war veterans. The soil
types are largely deep sand soils suitable for tobacco farming and the vegetation largely consist of
miombo woodlands. Dunstan farm is in Ward 22.

The other study site is Rochester Farm, which is in Ward 17 and is located approximately fifty-five
kilometers from Harare, along the Goromonzi-Rusike Road. Rochester is a subdivision of Belvedo Farm.
War veterans mainly from the neighbouring Rusike and Mwanza communal areas invaded Rochester in
1999. Currently, the farm has 87 settlers (Research results 2009), a slight increase from 84 settlers that
were recorded in 2001 and 2005 (Marimira 2003 and Marongwe 2005, respectively). Rochester, just like
Dunstan, is characterised by miombo vegetation, sand-loamy soils and some parts of the farm has deep
sand soils.

The two farms still have ex-commercial farm workers staying on the farms. The farm workers have not
been allocated land, having been marginalised during the land reform and resettlement programme.
This trend has also been noticed both in the South African and Namibian Land Reform and resettlement
programmes (Marongwe 2008). During the study, one ex-commercial farm worker who has been
allocated a plot at Rochester farm was interviewed and revealed a tough process he went through in
order to get a plot.

Actual settlement on the farms commenced in 2001. To date, very little infrastructure has been
developed in all two sites. Local level institutional arrangements have also not been fully established. In
terms of planning, the state has only managed to allocate individual plots, as well as demarcating
grazing and settlement areas. Disparities also exist in terms of the little infrastructure that has so far
been developed in two sites. For example, influential war veterans at Rochester farm quickly influenced
the District Land Committee to push DDF to install a borehole. As for Dunstan Estate, only one disused
borehole has been installed despite the higher number of settlers on the farm (116 settlers). This might
mean the local leadership is weak. Therefore, the study areas offer tremendous opportunities for
understanding local level institutional and organisational aspects of planning in a typical land-use and
resettlement area.




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Research process, data collection and research
findings
The research process involved seeking authority from the district and local leadership, a process which
the researcher had assumed was going to be easy as she had previously conducted some studies in the
area. In addition, the assumption also came from the background that the researcher had previously
worked at the district level and knew a number of key district land committee members. On the
contrary, a lot of protocols had to be followed which included having discussions with the district
administrator and farm representatives which later led the district authorities to write letters to the two
farm village heads and the Ward Councillors authorising the researcher to undertake her survey. The
letters specified the objectives of the study and also that the researcher had done previous studies in
the area around 2000-2001.

 At local level, consultations were also held with the village heads and members of the Committee of
Seven. The level of interrogation and uneasiness that was displayed at the two farms and even at district
levels shows that the leaders are not very comfortable with researchers on land reform and
resettlement issues. The uneasiness inferably comes from the unclear stance even within the inclusive
government about the land reform and resettlement policy. From the key informant interviews, there is
still animosity especially with the local leaders and the researcher had to be careful with the selection of
her words and sequencing of questions.

Sampling of respondents for the household questionnaire was systematic random sampling in Dunstan
farm while in Rochester because of the low plot occupancy levels the researcher had to interview every
household that was present at the farm. The idea was to reach the sample size while at the same time
minimising costs. In Dunstan and Rochester farms, 37 and 36 households were recruited for survey;
respectively.

Key informants in both study sites included the village heads, selected members of the Committee of
Seven, selected members of the District Land Committee, ward councillors and Chiefs’ representatives
for both farms. Two focus group discussions disaggregated by gender were conducted per each research
site. This was to capture gender differences in perceptions related to the effectiveness of local and
district leadership structures. Direct observation was extensively used especially to assess changes in the
quality of life in relation to the structures that the settlers have erected; the possible numbers of
livestock, among others. Through observation some of the data could be verified or further explored
using other methods.

The survey also used secondary sources of data collection. Literature search was conducted at various
libraries and the internet and this provided a deeper understanding of issues and concepts related to
the land reform and resettlement programme in Zimbabwe. Literature reviews from other countries like
Namibia and South Africa were also conducted and this provided insights of how the land reform
programmes in neighbouring countries with almost a somewhat similar colonial system were like.

Institutional and leadership settings in the study sites
The study identified a number of local and district level leadership and institutional structures that are
governing various activities at each level. Goebel (1996) gives a detailed overview of the local level

                                                                                                             6
institutions and organisations that were created and existed in the first phase of the land distribution
programme. The institutions and organisations were mainly constituted of the traditional leadership
structures and local government structures represented by rural district councils and at the lowest tier
of local governance were the VIDCOs. The local governance structures then were reported to be
ineffective and seemingly lacked legitimacy over their constituencies (Mukamuri and Kozanayi 1999;
Braedt and Stunda-Gunda 2000).

Data collected from the two study sites indicates that most of the structures that were formed during
the time of farm invasions are still functional though the levels of efficiency and effectiveness have been
weakened over time. Some of the structures have gone through a process of metamorphosis and have
become more organised and legitimate, replacing those that were formed during the times of farm
invasions. These changes were mainly evidenced at local level while at district level the structures that
were formed have remained in force but their visibility and effectiveness at local levels has been
reduced due to a myriad of reasons. The reasons cited during the key informant interviews ranged from
reduced land related disputes and new allocations hence the district local land committee has reduced
the number of trips to setters farms. Key informants also mentioned that the general economic
hardships have paralysed most if not all government departments to the extent that there has been no
fuel and travel and subsistence budgets to the farms and other operations in general. This trend was
also experienced during the 1985 resettlement phase of the land redistribution process (Goebel 1996).

The study also analysed the extent to which devolution of power during the period under review.
Research results showed minimal levels of devolution with certain government departments. Other
government departments only devolved responsibilities without apportioning the local level structures
the authority that comes along with responsibilities. Seemingly, this trend has continued from land
redistribution process that was implemented in the early to mid 1980s (Mutizwa-Mangiza 1989). To gain
more insights on the effectiveness and efficiency of the various structures at farm level and district level
a number of survey tools were used including key informant interviews, household questionnaire,
participant observation, time lines and focus groups discussions.

At district level, institutions that were identified included District Administrator, AGRITEX, District Land
Committee, Ministry of Education, Veterinary Department, Natural Resources Board, Forestry
Commission, Zimbabwe Republic Police, Goromonzi Rural District Council, Ministry of Health and Child
Welfare, Grain Marketing Board, District Development Fund and Traditional leaders mainly Chiefs.
Research results revealed that to a larger extent the institutional support from the supply side is still
ineffective and inefficient.

At local level, a number of state and non –state sponsored local organisations and groups have also
thrived over the years. For instance, the study results indicated that the traditional leadership has
changed over time and the changes have been linked to trying to legitimise the structure on the settlers.
At local level the prominent structures at farm level include the Seven Member Committee, war
veterans, AGRITEX, herd men and the village head who represents traditional leadership and also the
district land committee at farm level. The two study sites have formed social groups like burial societies
and agricultural commodity groups. Agriculture commodity groups were formed so that farmers would
reduce transaction costs and also trying to maximise of collective action and bargaining (North 1990;
Ostrom 1986). The groups of farmers have also been formed to make use of existing infrastructure on




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the farms such as tobacco bans3. For instance, the settlers have been coming together and trying to
lobby for the provisioning of social infrastructure like schools and clinics. The theory that social
heterogeneity downplays collective action has to be conceptualised especially in newly resettled areas.
For instance, despite the varying socio-economic and socio-cultural backgrounds based on place of
origin, the settlers could still come together to achieve certain projects in their areas of settlement
(Goebel 1996). In Rochester Farm one key informant mentioned that settlers come together especially
during the rainy season to provide labour in each other’s fields. These are commonly known as labour
parties. The practice is not very common among Dunstan settlers4. Associationalism within farmer
groups, which has been estimated at 40%, is used as a key coping strategy to fill-up the service provision
gaps that exist in the newly resettled farms5.

At district level the researcher interfaced with a number of government departments in trying to assess
the changes that have occurred over time in terms of service provision and land administration.
Generally speaking, the land administration system in Zimbabwe has been highly politicised and
centralised despite the existence of local level land administration structures like the village heads and
ward councillors. The level of devolution of power has been very limited to resolving petty land related
and social conflicts (Chavhunduka and Jacobs 2003; Matondi 2001).

The role of civic organisations and structures was also explored and these included the war veterans
association, the farmers union and political parties in the two study sites. Results from discussions with
a number of settlers indicated a slight shift in the way at which these structures are perceived in terms
of effectiveness and usefulness. The war veterans during the 2003 study were highly esteemed, since
they are the ones who pushed the land redistribution agenda forward through the farm invasions
(Sadomba 2008).

The office of the District Administrator
Respondents in the two study sites were very familiar with the functions of the office of the District
Administrator. The respondents were asked about the services that they are receiving from the District
Administrator’s office, the levels of interaction and how the settlers are obtaining the services from the
office of the DA. The respondents were also asked to rank the effectiveness and efficiency of service
delivery and trace any changes since they moved into the farms. Generally, the settlers have a fair
understanding of the services that are being offered by the DA’s office. The services ranged from land
allocation (though this is no longer common), solving land disputes and facilitating and securing inputs
for distribution. The roles of the DA were interlinked with those of the district land committee and
respondents were finding it difficult to split the two since the DA is the chairperson of the district land
committee. All his duties of the DA are executed within the defined parameters and mandate of the
district land committee.

Overall, 35% of the respondents mentioned that the DA solves land related disputes, 25% indicated that
the DA allocates land, 10% stated that he facilitates input securing and distribution and 1% stated that
he introduces development projects. Twenty-nine percentage (29%) of the respondents indicated that


3
  Murisa, T. 2010. Farmer Groups, Collective Action and Production Constraints in Selected A1 Settlements in
Goromonzi and Zvimba A1 (this series)
4
  Key informant interview results with Dunstan and Rochester Farm settlers, 2009.
5
  Murisa 2010. Farmer Groups, Collective Action and Production Constraints in Selected A1 Settlements in
Goromonzi and Zvimba A1.

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they were not aware of any services offered by the DA’s office. Respondents were also asked on
whether or not they see any improvements in terms of service delivery over time. Forty percent (40%) of
the farmers in Dunstan and 30% in Rochester mentioned that the services offered by the DA have
improved, while 30% and 42% of the settlers in Dunstan and Rochester indicated that there is no
improvement. The remainder of the settlers in both farms were not aware of the services as indicated
above. Results from focus group discussions indicated that some settlers were not happy with how the
DA’s offices deliberated on certain issues especially those that concern land disputes. They reported that
the DAs are corrupt. They indicated that since the inception of the fast track resettlement programme in
2000, the district has had four DAs so far, a staff turn-over rate which they said is abnormal and through
their (settlers) inferences, they thought they were being fired by their bosses after corrupt activities
were exposed. However, a minority of the respondents in Dunstan felt that the staff turn-over at the
DA’s offices were not linked to corrupt activities but just that the there was so much political pressure
exerted on them by political heavy weight who wanted farms in the district. Many politicians prefer to
be allocated land in areas around major cities and in farms where there are higher opportunity costs.

The respondents were also asked how they get services from the DA. From the survey results, it shows
that the DA visits the settlers and this was mainly related to visits that are linked to settling land
disputes. For example, in Dunstan 59% of the respondents mentioned that the DA visited them while
22% in Rochester indicated the same. This could mean that they are land related disputes in Dunstan
than in Rochester hence more visits in Dunstan. Eleven (11%) of the respondents in Dunstan and 22% in
Rochester indicated that they visited the DA in order to access services.

District Land Committee
Directly linked to the DA’s office is the District Land Committee (DLC) as explained above. The district
land committee was set up by government to spearhead resettlement activities in the district. The
mandate of the committee is land identification, land demarcation, beneficiary identification and
selection of settlers, land allocation, settling land disputes, distributing inputs and monitoring progress
on the farms. Overall, 30% of the respondents in both farms indicated that the DLC is responsible for
land allocation, 35% of the settlers indicated that the DLC is responsible for sourcing and distributing
agricultural inputs. Thirty-two percentage (32%) of the respondents indicated that the DLC is responsible
for solving land disputes. Only 1% indicated that the DLC is responsible for development projects. Two
percent (2%) had missing information which might indicate that they were not aware of the services
offered by the DLC. During focus group discussions respondents accused the DLC members to be
corrupt. One settler in Rochester Farm indicated that she was allocated a residential stand only in 2001
but was not given the arable land. She was given the arable plot in February 2007 after some members
who were n the DLC were relieved from their duties by the new DA after allegations of irregularities in
land allocations. The land she has been allocated was taken away from a new settler who had not come
to take up his plot.

Agricultural Extension Services (AGRITEX)
Results from the various methods of inquiry used in the two farms revealed that AGRITEX officers are
within the reach of the settlers. For instance, in Dunstan the officer is resident on the farm. In Rochester
Farm, the AGRITEX officer is resident on the neighbouring farm. During the 2001-2002 survey, both
farms had no AGRITEX officers and the new settlers had to travel to Goromonzi district offices to seek
services (Marimira 2003). The range of services that are offered by AGRITEX include offering agricultural
extension knowledge and conducting on farm research trials. Respondents in both farms reported that
they are getting services from AGRITEX. A majority of the respondents (74%) in both farms indicated

                                                                                                           9
that they are getting agricultural extension services mainly farming techniques. Six percent (6%)
indicated that the AGRITEX officers are also assisting them with accessing inputs that are provided by
the government.

Some of the respondents indicated that they have not received any services from the AGRITEX officers.
Respondents mentioned that there is a remarked improvement in service delivery by the department
after it decentralised its services. Seventy-two percent (74%) of settlers in Rochester indicated an
increased efficiency level while 64% in Dunstan also echoed the same sentiments. There is a mutual
relationship between the settlers and the AGRITEX officers where either the settlers visit the officers or
vice versa. The settlers visit extension officers when they want some information from the officers and
sometimes the officers visit the farmers when they are conducting follow-up visits to the farmers. Sixty-
two percent (62%) of the settlers (overall) reported this scenario. On the other hand, 39% of the
respondents indicated that they visit the officers, while 9% reported that they have not interfaced with
the AGRITEX officers. A key informant interview conducted with an AGRITEX officer at Dunstan farm
indicated that he has been resident on the farm ever since 2004. He reported that he is responsible for
12 farms (5 A1 farms and 7 A2 farms) which have resulted in a high demand for services. His movements
to all these farms are limited because there is no vehicle allocated to him. He relies on being hired or
public transport but this is very limited since the department is cash strapped thus not refunding any
costs incurred by staff. He reported that basic farming knowledge by settlers is around 30%. The low
levels of farming knowledge were attributed to the place of origin of the settlers6. In terms of
agricultural productivity, the officer indicated that yield surveys are higher for settlers who originated
from rural areas than their urban counterparts.

The officer mentioned that he has established demonstration plots at his homestead from which
farmers can learn. He mentioned that he conducts on farm trainings and some of the farmers (40%) are
not interested hence do not attend the sessions. In terms of local level farmer organisations, the officer
stated that some settlers have come together to form small commodity groups of about ten people to
market their produce and also buy agricultural inputs so as to reduce transaction costs. The farmers
were also reported to have formed labour sharing groups and farmers in Rochester are actively
practising labour parties. In terms of labour availability, the officer mentioned that ex-commercial
workers are reluctant to work for the settlers mainly because of poor remuneration and seasonal
engagements.

Other government departments
Services being offered by other government departments like District Development Fund (DDF), Ministry
of Education, Grain Marketing Board, Forestry Commission, Department of Natural Resources,
Department of Veterinary Services and the Goromonzi Rural District Council were also assessed.
Generally, respondents in both study sites indicated very low percentages and non responses for the
certain government departments. The low scores indicated limited interaction or in worst cases no
interaction at all with the settlers. Knowledge about some government departments at local level was
obtained from key informants. They mentioned that all the above departments had not been
decentralised to local levels mainly because of poor funding following reduced budgets at ministerial
levels. At district level, attempts were made to conduct key informant interviews with these




6
    The settlers in Dunstan originated from Ruwa, Chitungwiza and Epworth.

                                                                                                         10
departments as well and the general remark that was echoed by the respondents was that of limited or
no funding was available to enable them to execute their mandates.

Level of service delivery

The District Development Fund
DDF is very visible at district level and its degree and level of influence dwindled with increase in
distance from the epicentre. The department has not decentralised to community level. The department
has been badly affected by the economic conditions that have affected every other government
department. The District Coordinator indicated that the district has one functional tractor and with one
tractor they cannot even meet a quarter of the demands from both the newly resettled and communal
farmers. The other key activities include borehole drilling and rehabilitation and road maintenance.
Again, the informants mentioned that no activities have been implemented over the past four years.
This was further revealed at local level where respondents and key informants indicated that each farm
has one borehole that has been drilled by DDF.

Ministry of Education
Ministry of Education has established satellite primary schools at both farms. Ex-commercial white farm
houses are being used as classrooms. Survey results indicated that all (100%) primary school going pupils
are using the satellite schools while in Rochester 86% indicated that they are using the satellite school.
The remaining 12% were reported to be going to Rusike Primary School, which approximately 7
kilometres away. The school was said to be more developed. There are no secondary schools in the two
farms and respondents indicated that they are going to the neighbouring communal areas which are
within a 6-15km radius. Seventy-one percent of the respondents indicated that their children are
travelling distances ranging from 6-15km while 89% in Rochester indicated the same distance. District
education officials indicated that plans to build schools in the two farms are on the drawing board, there
is no funding to implement the plans.

Forestry Commission and Department of Natural Resources
Forestry Commission is involved in managing and conserving forests in general while DNR is the
enforcement agency of conservation laws and regulations. The two departments are only at district
level. Respondents in Rochester only indicated that ever since they settled on the farms they were
invited to one workshop organised by Forestry Commission emphasising the need to replenish natural
forests by planting indigenous and exotic trees. Offences related to cutting down of trees are handled by
the traditional leaders in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

The Goromonzi Rural District Council
At ward level, the rural district council is represented by the ward councillor who is democratically
elected and will remain in office for five years. In Rochester, the Ward Councillor stays in a neighbouring
farm while the one for Dunstan stays on the farm. However, respondents in Dunstan reported that he
spends most of his time at his plot near Ruwa. More than 90% of the respondents during focus group
discussions and other individuals indicated that they are aware of the existence of GRDC. All settlers are
required to pay an annual development levy of USD120.00. Seventy-six percent (overall) of the
respondents were aware that the GRDC’s role is collecting taxes. Fourteen percent indicated that they
are responsible for road maintenance and the remaining 13% were almost equally distributed among
other roles like food for work programmes, land allocation and infrastructure provision. The

                                                                                                         11
respondents at both farms mentioned that the role of the Rural District Council in terms of service
provision is very limited. This was mainly attributed to lack of financial resources by the Council.

The Department of Veterinary Services
The department is at district level only and no efforts at farm levels have been put in place to revive
existing cattle dipping infrastructure that is existing on the farms. At both farms there are non-functional
dip tanks and settlers have bought their own knap-sack sprayers for spraying their animals and vaccines
for dosing animals. Respondents indicated that they are getting animal husbandry advice from the
AGRITEX officers. They complained that during the rainy season, their livestock is affected by ticks which
predispose them to tick-borne diseases.

Local level structures
Respondents and participants for the focus group discussions were asked to appraise local organisations
such as the seven member committee which evolved from the local land committee, traditional leaders
and any other groups that they had been formed at farm level. The questionnaire explored information
on the roles of traditional leaders and the perceived levels of acceptability by settlers, efficiency and
legitimacy. During the early periods in farm invasions, the seven member committees at farm level were
formed to monitor activities and attend to settlers’ grievances and disputes at farm level. The structure
has evolved over time in terms of membership and roles.

The previous structure was headed by a base commander who was a war veteran and the other
committee members were also war veterans. In 2004-5, the structure was changed by district land
committee members through a quasi-democratic system. The new structure is now headed by the
village head who was elected by the district land committee and the other six members were
democratically elected at farm. The selection criteria for the village heads, unknown as district land
committee members were unwilling to disclose information on how they selected them. On the other
hand, the village heads are still speculating on the parameters that were used to select them. According
to survey results, 33% of the respondents in Rochester indicated that they were aware of the functions
of the Seven Member Committee while a lower percentage, 14%, in Dunstan indicated the same. This
scenario could possibly be attributed to the fact that settlers at Dunstan are not very concerned with
this structure as it evolved from a structure that was purely composed of ZANU-PF supporters. Across
the two study sites, an insignificant percentage of the respondents reiterated that party leadership has a
role in influencing settler activities. These constituted 9% of the total sample. The above scenario could
likely indicate that settlers are less likely to recognise the importance of party leadership in influencing
land related activities.

Key informant interviews with selected members of the local committee suggest that these were people
had previously held positions of power in their former communal areas. However, it appears election of
traditional leaders like the village head in resettlement areas is based on the socio-economic, political
status of the particular individual, as highlighted in Box 1, below.




                                                                                                         12
Box 1: How to become a village head in Rochester Farm
My original home is in Rusike communal area and I settled on the farm in 2000 with part of the family, some of the
family members mainly children and the elderly had to remain so that they could access social services like clinics
and schools. My term as a councillor was about to expire and I had to finish off the term while I was already staying
here at the farm. In 2004, I was appointed as the village head of this farm by the district land committee. When the
committee called for a meeting to announce the new arrangement I thought they were going to choose any elderly
person or re-elect the base commander. I got shocked when the Chief announced my name as the elected village
head. I think they elected me because of my previous background of being a councillor who really brought
development in my home area of Rusike. During my term as councillor I managed to push for the supply of
electricity at Rusike Business Centre and clinic. I also pushed for the completion of an irrigation scheme in the area.
To my surprise, when my name was called out there was more excitement from the ex-commercial farm workers
than from the settlers themselves. The ex-commercial farm workers really like me because I protected them when
the base commander and his crue wanted to chase them out of the farm accusing them to be saboteurs of the land
reform programme. My support for them however created a lot of suspicion from both the other settlers and the
war veterans and at one instance they had plotted to kill me in Rusike when I had gone to collect cash from my
bottle store. My grandfather was a vassal (Jinda) i.e., the chief’s right hand man but it was unfortunate that when
my father’s turn had come to be installed chief of the area, he was bewitched and died. I am not sure whether or
not the district land committee also used this information to appoint me village head. There were no initiation
ceremonies conducted after the installation and we have not been receiving monthly allowances yet our rural
counterparts are being paid. I am not sure of my mandate as the DA has not come back as he promised for
induction and I do not have a copy of the Traditional Leaders Act, (2000) to refer certain issues I am not clear
about. However, I am aware of what I should be doing, getting it from the experiences I obtained when I was still in
Rusike. We hardly meet as an assembly but whenever we meet, we deliberate on certain land disputes but I refer
to the district land committee for resolution of disputes. The function of settling disputes and land allocation has
been devolved without corresponding levels of authority. I also solve domestic disputes and cases of common
theft within the farm. I enforce conservation laws and regulations so as to discourage settlers and people from the
communal areas to desist from indiscriminate cutting down of trees. However, this function is limited because I do
not have the legal instruments to use against perpetrators and I don’t get the support I need from the other
government departments like Zimbabwe Republic Police and Department of Natural Resources.



Interviews conducted during the study showed that local level committees in both sites claimed to
enforce traditional practices that are linked to rain making ceremonies. The traditional leaders
mentioned that sacred places are also venerated. However, the researcher feels that this is a huge
attempt to create legitimacy especially in Dunstan farm where the majority of the settlers are coming
from varied urban backgrounds. Overall, 75% of the respondents stated that traditional leaders derive
their legitimacy from the government while 15% think they derive it from their subjects, most probably
this claim is from people who originate from communal areas who have always placed a certain value on
them. In terms of whether settlers are satisfied by the role played by traditional leaders overall, 71% of
the respondents mentioned that they are satisfied by the services offered by the traditional leaders.
Those claiming dissatisfaction constituted 15% of the total sample.

The village development committee (VIDCO) as an institution in both farms is diminishing in importance.
For instance 93% of the respondents in Rochester indicated that they were not aware of its existence.
On the other hand, 81% of the total sample in Dunstan echoed the similar sentiments.

Traditional leaders as appointed by government are getting prominence over war veteran committees
who used to be more powerful in land related issues. This is understandable given the fact that ZANU-PF
has opted to engage traditional leaders because these are the people largely believed to be close to the

                                                                                                                    13
populace. Ironically, this is reminiscent of the colonial administrative system where the traditional
leadership structures were used as conduits for close monitoring of society.


Conclusion
The study has highlighted the challenges faced by new settlers following land reform. These differ across
sites. In Dunstan Farm settlers have established more permanent homes after failing to cope with urban
life, especially payment of rentals in foreign currency and also the effects of ‘Murambatsvina7’ which
disturbed urban informal settlements and informal enterprises in urban areas. By contrast, settlers in
Rochester Farm, mainly those originating from communal areas of Chikwaka and Rusike, have
established quasi-settlements with the rest of the family members still in the well established communal
areas where both children and adults can access social infrastructure like schools and health services.

This is reflected in the high occupancy rates in Dunstan as compared to Rochester. In terms of
developing permanent homesteads where all or a greater part of the family members are at the farm,
again Dunstan has higher percentages than Rochester. In terms of service delivery, the study generally
showed that there has been very little that the government has done to either provide new
infrastructure or improve what was left by the previous owners. Despite local community initiatives of
rehabilitation some of the infrastructure, there has been little state support.

In terms of leadership, the study showed an increasingly growing and local government nurtured role of
traditional leadership structures, represented by the village head at farm level. The village head is the
chairperson of the ‘Committee of Seven’ which has been bestowed with power to run the affairs
including judging disputes, allocating inputs and farm equipments and punishing settlers for petty
crimes committed. The study revealed some level of allegiance to traditional leaders and local
structures exits on the farms in Rochester than Dunstan.

Leadership structures in resettlement areas have evolved over time. In some instances, this has seen the
displacement of ineffective and less preferred institutions. The experimental models under which
leadership structures in resettlement areas have been implemented cannot be divorced from the
politics of the day. Central and local governments have tried out various leadership structures in an
effort to regulate or diffuse power dynamics at local level so that the ruling party will not lose grip of the
populace from which it derives its power and legitimacy (Alexander 2006). For instance, the institution
of the chief in the previous land reform programme was downplayed. The resurgence of this institution
is perceived as a strategic political move in on order to bolster ruling party support in the resettlement
areas. From the discussion above, it can be concluded that the role of the traditional leaders in newly
resettled areas especially at farm level are limited to solving petty disputes and regulating day to day
village activities. The village heads do not have land allocation and demarcation powers as is enshrined
in the Traditional Leaders Act.

A key informant from Dunstan Farm stated that this is defeating and it nullifies the perceived power that
is apportioned to the traditional leaders especially in the rural areas. He reiterated that the power any


7
 ‘Murambatsvina’ or Operation Restore Order was an operation that the Government of Zimbabwe in conjunction
with City of Harare embarked on in May 2005 to clean-up the city and get rid of illegal vending, illegal dwellings
and criminal elements that were believed to be fuelling the foreign currency parallel market.

                                                                                                               14
traditional leader has is vested in the ability and the supportive legislative framework that gives them
the authority to demarcate and distribute land and also substantially solving land disputes. The current
institution at farm level cannot even impose fines on those who have violated and flouted certain rules
and norms like cutting down of scared trees or going to the fields on ‘chisi’ (traditional resting day). In
addition, extension services have been devolved to farm level and the respondents indicated high
satisfaction with the services rendered. Coupled with increases in livestock ownership by a significant
percentage of the respondents (as indicated) above, there is a possibility that agricultural production in
the two study sites will increase.

Failures by some government departments from the supply side to provide for instance tillage services
will be curbed if farmers become reliant on livestock for drought power resulting in more land being put
under crops. District level structures were generally reported to have been severely affected by the
economic hardships that they country has gone through and at the same time, the Goromonzi Rural
district Council could have failed to raise the optimal revenue base fund projects in the district. Most of
the government departments had literally stopped delivering services to the settlers at the farms and
this is possibly the scenario at other farms in the country. Data collected during focus group discussions
indicated that most district level departments have not been decentralised and those that have been
decentralised and devolved have been limited in discharging their mandates because there are not given
the subsequent authority. Apart from fiscal challenges, this might be a deliberate move by government
to postpone or hinder progression towards autonomous land administration and broader rural
governance (Chatiza 2003).

Thus, a number of changes have been noticed with regards to the leadership structures in the fast track
land resettlement farms. As new settlers develop new lives on the resettlement areas, addressing local
leadership issues and relationships with the state will remain key challenges.




                                                                                                         15
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            Full list of Livelihoods after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Papers
Mujeyi, K. (2010). ‘Emerging agricultural markets and marketing channels within newly resettled areas of Zimbabwe’.
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Mbereko, A. (2010). ‘An assessment of the outcomes of “fast track” land reform policy in Zimbabwe on rural
livelihoods: the case of Gudo ward (Mazvihwa communal area) and Chirere area (A1 Resettlement area)’. Livelihoods
after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Paper 3. Livelihoods after Land Reform Project. South Africa: PLAAS.
Mashava, R. (2010). ‘Confronting water challenges in a micro-irrigation scheme in the Umzingwane Catchment of
Zimbabwe’. Livelihoods after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Paper 4. Livelihoods after Land Reform Project.
South Africa: PLAAS.
Chingarande, S.D. (2010). ‘Gender and livelihoods in Nyabamba A1 Resettlement Area, Chimanimani district of
Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe’. Livelihoods after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Paper 5. Livelihoods after
Land Reform Project. South Africa: PLAAS.
Marimira, S.C. (2010). ‘Institutions, leadership and service delivery in new Resettlement Areas of Zimbabwe’.
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Chamunorwa, A. (2010). ‘Comparative analysis of agricultural productivity between newly resettled farmers and
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Murisa, T. (2010). ‘Farmer groups, collective action and production constraints: Cases from A1 settlements in
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Project. South Africa: PLAAS.
Chigumira, E. (2010). ‘My land, my resource: Assessment of the impact of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme on
the natural environment, Kadoma District, Zimbabwe’. Livelihoods after Land Reform in Zimbabwe Working Paper 14.
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Moyo, P. (2010). ‘Land reform In Zimbabwe and urban livelihoods transformation’. Livelihoods after Land Reform in
Zimbabwe Working Paper 15. Livelihoods after Land Reform Project. South Africa: PLAAS.
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