Land acquisitions and relocations of the Shangane in Zimbabwe

Disintegratory or transformative?

  • Emmanuel Ndhlovu


This article examines how livelihood patterns of the minority Shangane ethnic group in Zimbabwe have been changing since the colonial period as the result of land dispossession and their later relocation during the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP). The article notes that while literature on land and land reform in Zimbabwe abounds, there is very limited academic scholarship on the land experiences of the Shangane people, and thus the article seeks to bridge this knowledge gap. Drawing its conceptual underpinnings from the ‘transformative social policy’ framework, the article uses oral histories, secondary literature, and in-depth interviews with smallholder FTLRP beneficiaries to empirically illustrate the livelihood changes over the long duration. The article concludes that while other land displacements and relocations since the colonial period had a disastrous impact on livelihoods, the FTLRP holds eclectic and optimistic results.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1995-641X
print ISSN: 0256-2804