Two new papers by Sandra Bhatasara and Kirk Helliker on land occupations in Shamva and Bindura Districts;Mashonaland Central;are analysed. They offer nuanced accounts of what happened. As previous studies have shown;the story is not straightforward. Includes history and memory;organising occupations;the occupiers;rise of the party-state;why does this history matter? Concludes that together these two papers shed important light on the land occupation period. The occupations were initially an anti-state/party protest;largely autonomous and decentralised;but the war veterans made strategic bargains – in exchange for police protection;transport;food and so on. The state in turn recognised the need to accommodate the invaders and find space for elite demand for land in the A2 schemes;and so shift tack around the ‘illegalityof the invasions creating the ‘fast-trackprogramme. While the result was certainly a dramtic shift in agrarian structure;the tentative period of radical challenge was quickly undermined.
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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.