The politics of youth struggles for land in post-land reform Zimbabwe

Chipato, Fadzai / Libin Wang / Ting Zuo / George T. Mudimu
External Publications (2020)

in: Review of African Political Economy 47 (163), 59-77


The youth in post-land reform Zimbabwe are engaged in struggles for land ownership, access and control. This article focuses on youth struggles from the grassroots to the national level. The struggles for land emanate from a number of factors among which are: elite alienation, the state’s failure to exercise its constitutional mandate of a broad-based land reform, weak economic structure, the conflation of party and state politics, political opportunity calculations and social justice concerns. The conflation of party and state politics has exacerbated the use of land for patronage purposes and led to further youth disenfranchisement and more parochialism, as demonstrated by the narrowing of the youth’s national struggle for land to a party political matter. This has subordinated youth land struggles to the dictates of party politics. Youth in the rural areas unable to access productive land embarked on informal land occupation as they waited for unfulfilled promises from the authorities. The youth struggles are at a crossroads as the state’s narrative, discourse and policy position shifts under a new administration and economic order premised on neoliberalism.

About the author

Mudimu, George Tonderai

Agricultural policy economics

Further experts

Brüntrup, Michael

Agricultural Economy 

Donnelly, Aiveen

Politcal Science 

Gubbini, Emily

Social Science 

Rukundo, Emmanuel Nshakira

Development Economics 

Sakketa, Tekalign Gutu

Agricultural / Development Economics