Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the most polarising issues in Zimbabwean agriculture today is ZIDERA, the US law that spells sanctions against Zimbabwe. The existence, magnitude and impact of the sanctions has been so hotly contested that real truth around sanctions lies deeply buried in the debris of spin. The purpose of this article is to try to resurrect the real issues from the debris of … Continue reading Sanctionsland: Time to bury Pride on the Altar of Magnanimity
Taruvinga Magwiroto I’ve heard it said, several times since I started interacting with the grassroots, that “the tragedy in post land reform Zimbabwe is that the bulk of the people on the land today are not farmers”. I believe this is an assertion worth interrogating. How do we define a farmer? I’ve been grappling with this question for a long time, yet I’m not near … Continue reading Land owners and farmers: who is who?
Taruvinga Magwiroto Understated and self-effacing, grey and a little grizzled, he walks with a slight limp and the help of a cane. If you meet Godfrey Nkunzani in the street, you would be forgiven for mistaking him for just another pensioner. He is anything but. Take a second look and you see in his penetrating grey eyes the vitality that belies the physical frailty. Talk … Continue reading Land reform success stories: The Godfrey Nkunzani farming story
Taruvinga Magwiroto Today, 25 May 2022, I visited Mr. Zenda at his makeshift home by Mazowe Dam. In a way, the gentleman is our local version of the archetypical frontiersman. But not quite: he is disabled from childhood polio and his gait is rather slow and tortured, but that does not take away the magnetic aura about him. As I got into his patch of … Continue reading A visit to another Africa
Taruvinga Magwiroto In much of recent history, Zimbabwe’s agrarian system has been largely shaped by struggles; from the time that one foreign civilization subdued and conquered a native one up to the time that the conquered rose and toppled the former. It is a society that has in fact been shaped by periodic fits of violent revolutions, each period of violence heralding new forms of … Continue reading Decamping Ghost Town: journey towards agrarian redemption in Zim agriculture
By Brighton Gweshe Since the onset of the new millennium, life has not been the same for the numerous smallholder farmers of Zimbabwe as each month seemed to bring its own fair share of unique hardships. Below I will set out some of the major issues, and the consequences they have wrought. Finally I will highlight some of the strategies that have been employed to … Continue reading Coping with complex change in Zim smallholder farming
Taruvinga Magwiroto It is beyond debate that land is the primary source of wealth in Zimbabwe. Not only is agriculture the source of food security and a big employer, it has also been traditionally a major source of raw materials for our manufacturing industry. The close link between agriculture and manufacturing industries in Zimbabwe can be traced back to the Rhodesia sanctions years, when the … Continue reading The generational equation in post land reform Zimbabwe
Taruvinga Magwiroto I have been enchanted by this catchy phrase ever since I first heard it on the ZATT platform sometime last year. I will try to take apart this phrase, decomposing it into it’s constituent parts, and then try to synthesise a deeper meaning out of it all. The idea of “nation” brings to mind boundaries or borders, a geospatial dimension. A nation is … Continue reading Inovakwa nevene vayo: in search of deeper meaning
Taruvinga Magwiroto Recent media reports of farm evictions and land ownership wrangles have alerted us once again to unresolved issues post land reform. The crux of the matter is security of tenure. Security of tenure must play an important role in agricultural renewal. However, what constitutes “secure” tenure is contested. This is expected, not least because of differences in interpretive filters, interests and aspirations. In … Continue reading Land in Zimbabwe: Use it or lose it, but where lies security?
Taruvinga Magwiroto At first glance, the notion of being Zimbabwean is not a particularly problematic one. However, as a row erupted about the appropriate language to use on the high-level Zimbabwe Agricultural Think Tank, it has alerted us to issues that go beyond agriculture: issues of identity and being Zimbabwean on the land today. This reflective essay seeks to make sense of these collective experiences, … Continue reading Being Zimbabwean on the land: some reflections on ZATT conversations