Zimbabwe: Making sense of the issues and staking the future Part 1.

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the attractive-sounding ideas that I have is that “to dream the future look at what worked in the past”. But looking at what worked in the past will not suffice if we don’t ask a crucial additional question: why? So the full question becomes: “what worked in the past and why?” This is particularly important in the Zimbabwean case because what … Continue reading Zimbabwe: Making sense of the issues and staking the future Part 1.

Re-building Zimbabwe’s agriculture: Between a rock and a hard place.

Taruvinga Magwiroto One of the foundational premises that should anchor any development plans for Zimbabwe and other developing countries is the centrality of land as the primary economic resource. Indeed, this fact is recognised in Zimbabwe. That, ostensibly, is why the land reform programme was launched in the first place. Fundamentally, it was about re-distribution of the national cake, broadly speaking. However, no sooner was … Continue reading Re-building Zimbabwe’s agriculture: Between a rock and a hard place.

Reflections and musings on my trip to The Fens.

The 20 August 2019 trip was probably the best of all my Marshal Papworth trips. Maybe it is because now I have a better grasp of what I was doing the whole of last year. Maybe it’s because now I know more of what I want to be doing in future. Maybe it was the fact that, for once, as fate would have it, the … Continue reading Reflections and musings on my trip to The Fens.

Designing our rural futures in post land reform Zimbabwe

Taruvinga L. Magwiroto One thing that we can be sure of is that all humans aspire to the “good life”, or at least a decent, dignified one. Everybody wants a good life, and deserves one. But what can be in contention is the definition of a good life. Whatever the good life is, we know that in reality, some have it better than others- because … Continue reading Designing our rural futures in post land reform Zimbabwe

Our rural future in post land reform Zimbabwe

Taruvinga Magwiroto When we analyse any situation, we are constantly faced with the task of understanding how a complex situation is created and developed and how important are the various components relative in time and space” (Boyle 1981:40). Patrick Boyle (1981). Planning better programs. McGraw-Hill. Analysing any complex situation is never easy, as that quote from Boyle emphasises. To me the phrase “post land reform … Continue reading Our rural future in post land reform Zimbabwe

The land question: when South Africa meets Zimbabwe.

Taruvinga Magwiroto This article has its genesis with a meeting I had yesterday with Dr. Andrew Ainslie, a white, male South African Associate Professor in international development at the University of Reading. (He is an anthropologist by training, so he understands the importance of “positionality!”). Needless to say, our meetings are always intellectually stimulating, and he asked me a question that really stumped me, but … Continue reading The land question: when South Africa meets Zimbabwe.

Marshal Papworth: the power of transformative facilitation.

Taruvinga Magwiroto To a farming man or woman from anywhere else in the world, a visit to the East of England evokes an answering chord of unspoken camaraderie. Farmers the world over share with the fine women and men of the East of England these qualities: solidity; common sense; industry; unparalleled hospitality and capacity and desire to learn from others. Marshal Papworth was one such … Continue reading Marshal Papworth: the power of transformative facilitation.

Inspiration on my birthday: lessons on life and learning.

Yesterday, 17 June was my birthday. I am one year older than I was last year. I have committed my whole life to learning, and it is about that subject that I will draw a few insights from my life. Learning: much much more than books When a lot of people hear about learning, they immediately start to think about books, libraries and examinations. Fair … Continue reading Inspiration on my birthday: lessons on life and learning.

“Doing” development differently: why the rural sector is crucial for development

Taruvinga Magwiroto That the rural population is an important political constituency has been appreciated in Zimbabwe since the 1980s. The political party with a rural majority normally wins power. But for several reasons, the rural constituency has lacked “countervailing” power: their voices are disproportionately weaker. Most farmers themselves would argue that farming has little to do with politics and policy. Far from it: policy has … Continue reading “Doing” development differently: why the rural sector is crucial for development

Back to the future: memories of my Uncle

Taruvinga Magwiroto Time: 10.45am   Place: Reading, UK I have been sitting still at my desk for hours, looking outside my window at the little green square blurred by the light driving rain. I have been thinking about Babamukuru, my uncle who recently died back in Vurile Village, the place that- for a long time-I called home. He is dead, our dear Babamukuru. But in … Continue reading Back to the future: memories of my Uncle