Non-citizens in a democratic space : perspectives on human security in Zimbabwe's large-scale commercial agriculture under the Land Reform Programme : 1980-2002

  • P Mayavo


This article is conceived in the context of the controversial and ambiguous 'fast-track' land reform programme orchestrated by the ZANU (PF) government since 2000. It discusses human security as a way of redressing an imbalance in mainstream security discourse that has put disproportionate emphasis on the security of the state, with little regard for the safety of persons within the borders of that state. Far from emphasising personal security over state security, the article makes human safety the measure of state security. Thus, the extent to which the people of a particular state live in freedom and safety, under just laws, and with their essential needs met, is the extent to which that state is secure. The article argues that the land reform programme was contradictory in that it aggravated the socio-economic status of farm workers, thereby making them even more vulnerable to security threats. For many 'foreign' farm workers, who lack ethnic and nationality rights to own land, prospects of ever returning to countries of origin have waned over the years, and yet the elderly workers were probably the most affected by the government's land reform programme. Human security values identify the safety and welfare of people as the central objectives of state security.

African Journal on Conflict Resolution Vol. 4 (1) 2004: pp. 45-63

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eISSN: 1562-6997