Ecological Impacts of Land Struggles in Makonde District, Zimbabwe: 1890 to Present



Land remains the most important resource in Zimbabwe’s economy. In the Makonde District, Shona people’s lives have been reliant on land from time immemorial. The skewed colonial land policy privileging whites was unstainable as it introduced sharp racial inequalities. Unsustainable too was the haphazard land reform in 2000 that sought to redress colonial inequities but at the same time ushered in widespread environmental degradation, in Makonde specifically and Zimbabwe more generally. The government has dramatically fallen short when it comes to addressing problems arising from land nationalization, land rights, land tenure, scarce energy, resource conservation, and sustainable livelihoods in sparsely distributed agrarian communities like Makonde.

Author Biography

Vimbai Kwashirai, Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Zimbabwe

Vimbai Kwashirai is a Zimbabwean and Oxonian scholar. His research interests are in economic and environmental issues, specifically in modern Zimbabwe, and Africa more generally. The author of Green Colonialism in Zimbabwe, 1890–1980, Vimbai has published extensively on these themes as well as on the social and political developments in Zimbabwe. He has taught at several universities in Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom, including Durham and Liverpool. Vimbai has been awarded many academic awards and fellowships in the UK and Germany.