Accepted paper:

Land Reform and Social Differentiation in Zimbabwe, Re-inventing the Wheel of Inequalities in Urban Development


Barbara Chibvamushure (University of Zimbabwe)
Julius Musevenzi (University of Zimbabwe)

Paper short abstract:

Peri-urban slum settlement upgrading has seen the political exclusion of former farm workers based on citizenship status and ethnicity. Descendants of migrant workers are not considered Zimbabweans, their exclusion from urban land leads to their displacement.

Paper long abstract:

The paper brings out the politics of exclusion of former farm labourers of foreign origin in the upgrading of slum settlements from accessing urban land for housing purposes. The study shows that citizenship status and ethnicity have become tools of exclusion for the poor in accessing basic services such as housing. The former farm workers most of whom remained in farms acquired by the government at the periphery of urban areas are of Mozambican and Malawian origin and were reduced to slum dwellers during the height of the Fast Track land Reform Programme. During the fast Track land Reform programme they were excluded from benefiting from agricultural land just like other ordinary Zimbabweans. Urban expansion through regularisation of slum settlements has seen urban planners excluding these poor former farm workers. The former farm workers live in poor conditions that makes them vulnerable to displacement as their interests as people born in Zimbabwe but from former migrant worker. The objective of this paper is to show how the diversity of poor residents in peri-urban slum settlements is ignored as people of foreign origin are excluded and denied their rights based on the origins of their parents. It shows that the state and local government planners perpetuates inequalities among its own citizens based on citizenship status and ethnicity. The excluded become socially dislocated and remain in a poverty cycle that makes their recovery very difficult.

panel K05
Social diversity and in/equalities in urban development interventions (Paper)