zimbabwe agriculture woman farmer photo by USAID

Land issues—including extreme racial disparities in land ownership, insecurity of land tenure and property rights, control over fertile land and mineral reserves, and insecurity of community land rights—have played a central role in Zimbabwe’s history which continues to this day.  Located in Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia, Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) achieved independence from colonial rule in 1980. Though rich in mineral resources, the vast majority of Zimbabweans live in poverty. By January 2009, only 6% of the population worked in the formal sector.

Learn more about successes and challenges and find more detailed land governance data in Zimbabwe.

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Total population is based on the de facto definition of population, which counts all residents regardless of legal status or citizenship--except for refugees not permanently settled in the country

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Latest News

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30 JULY 2015

Zimbabwe: Celebrating Pioneers of Land Reform

By Fortious Nhambura

Seventeen years ago the people of Svosve armed with hoes and axes moved into the Ruzawi commercial farming belt east of the Mashonaland East provincial capital, Marondera. The villagers were determined to reclaim their ancestral land expropriated from their forefathers by the settler regime. The 1998 historic occupation ignited the land invasions that gave in to the fast track land reform exercise.

Demolition crews destroy property during Operation Murambatsvina, Zimbabwe
20 November 2017

In June 2005, demolition crews destroyed hundreds of homes in an impoverished suburb of Mutare, under ‘Operation Murambatsvina’ (Move the Rubbish), the government of Zimbabwe’s campaign to forcibly clear ‘slums’ across the country. Many of those made homeless joined housing cooperatives to collectively purchase land, on which to rebuild their lives, only to have that land taken by Zanu-PF supporters with backing from government ministers.




Centre of Applied Social Sciences
University or Research Institution

The University of Zimbabwe’s Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) is a Department within the Faculty of Social Studies.

Governmental institution

The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the former British South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980.

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics logo
Non-profit organization

The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) is an international non-profit organization that undertakes scientific research for development.

Our approach is through partnerships and with an Inclusive Market Oriented Development.

Partnerships are critical as ICRISAT takes a catalyst role to help rural communities develop their own solutions and engage
the actors needed to bring the vision to reality.

Non-profit organization

We have over 95 years of experience in empowering communities to overcome poverty.  Led by our founder Dr. Y.C. James Yen, since early 1920s, our predecessor the Chinese Mass Education Movement was responsible for changing, for better, and the lives of over 200 million Chinese peasants through the power of functional literacy.  Since IIRR was formally organized as an international development, training, and research organization in 1960 in the Philippines, we have continued to empower the rural poor to end poverty in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Non Governmental organization

Practical Action is an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that uses technology to challenge poverty in developing countries.

We find out what people are doing and help them to do it better. Through technology we enable poor communities to build on their skills and knowledge to produce sustainable and practical solutions- transforming their lives forever and protecting the world around them.

Data aggregator

The Southern African Legal Information Institute (SAFLII) is an online repository of legal information from South Africa that aims to promote the rule of law and judicial accountability by publishing legal material for open access in line with the objectives of the global Free Access to Law Movement.

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Civil Society Organization

Womankind Worldwide is a global women’s rights organisation working in solidarity and equal partnership with women’s rights organisations and movements to transform the lives of women.


Our vision is of a just world where the rights of all women are respected, valued and realised.

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