One of the major reasons why Zimbabwe is on its knees right now is because of the chaotic and controversial land reform program that was undertaken by Robert Mugabe’s regime.
The land reform program attracted financial and economic restrictions from the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western superpowers. The primary aim of these were to make Zimbabwe’s economy bleed such that the people would get angry with the regime and overthrow it. Which almost happened, but never happened.
It also served the interests of the powerful society in Zimbabwe. It has been a success for others, but on the overall, it has been a catastrophic disaster. Below are short talking points about the land reform in Zimbabwe:
5. The quest for economic freedom
The recent utterances by Robert Mugabe lambasting the rule of Nelson Mandela’s presidency and how he sold out black South Africans shows what deeply lies within his conscience. His major thrust was to empower the black person, to give the black person in Zimbabwe economic emancipation. Political freedom without the means of production was pointless for him.
4. A victory for the ruling elite
The land reform program saw the major beneficiaries of it being the ruling elite in ZANU-PF and the businessmen connected to the ruling party. Most of the farms that were violently seized during that disastrous epoch went into the hands of the powerful politicians and the powerful businessmen. Some were seized by the war veterans, who spearheaded the campaign, but most of them have failed to utilize the land.
3. Should evicted white farmers return to Zimbabwe?
The crisis that has unfolded in Zimbabwe ever since the acquisition of land from whites without compensation took place has been mammoth. It has made Zimbabwe a limping country. The question on many minds is whether normalcy can be restored if the white farmers are allowed to return to Zimabwe. What has been proven beyond reasonable doubt is that most of the people who took the land have not been able to bring the best out of it.
2. The major reason why Zimbabwe is suffering
Zimbabwe is a beleagured country with continous, mounting economic woes that seem to ostensibly emanate from the land reform program in 2000. The country fell into an irretrievable economic mess. An agrarian economy stripped of its potential. The economic sanctions exacerbated the crisis, and up to now the country is grappling with endless economic problems, all at the detriment of the citizens.
1. Will there ever be a solution?
This question can best be addressed by a change in governments. The current regime will obviously continue to reap the benefits. And even up to now some blacks do not have land. While the political and business bigwigs have all the land. Some not utilized.
But where there has been success, it ought to be taken into cognisance. There are other who have fully utilized the land they were given, while others have literally ploughed drought and hunger.
On one view, the land reform seems a noble concept. It was the methodology and implementation that was horrible.
Many African countries can look at the Zimbabwean scenario and take lessons from the mistakes that Zimbabwe did.