Not the story you expected to hear about land reform in Zimbabwe.When 170,000 black farmers occupied 4,000 white farms in Zimbabwe in 2000, it caused world-wide shockwaves. A decade later, Zimbabwe Takes Back Its Land finds that the new farmers are doing relatively well, improving their lives and becoming increasingly productive, especially since the US dollar became the local currency. While not minimizing the depredations of the Mugabe government, and accepting that many of President Mugabe’s supporters benefited from the ruler’s largesse, the book counters the dominant media narratives of oppression and economic stagnation in Zimbabwe. Hanlon, Manjengwa, and Smart show how, despite political violence and a mind-boggling hyperinflation, “ordinary” Zimbabweans took charge of their destinies in creative and unacknowledged ways.
By Joseph Hanlon, Teresa Smart and Jeanette Manjengwa