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  • Author or Editor: Marja Spierenburg x
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Conflicts about Land in Dande, Northern Zimbabwe
This book describes efforts by the Zimbabwean government to enforce land reforms on African farmers in northern Zimbabwe. These efforts compounded rather than alleviated the problem of land scarcity for black small-scale farmers, a problem government now allegedly seeks to redress through invasions of white-owned farms. The book describes the similarities between the post-Independence land reforms and those attempted by the Rhodesian regime.
The land reforms in Dande rendered a considerable number of farmers officially landless. The book describes the resulting internal conflicts over land within the communities in Dande as well as the more concerted forms of resistance of these communities vis-a-vis the state. Attention is also given to the role the spirit mediums of the royal ancestors (Mhondoro) played in this resistance.
In: Worlds of Human Rights


Despite its present support for the invasion of (mainly white-owned) commercial farms and emphasis on 'fast-track resettlement', most interventions by the post-Independence government of Zimbabwe in agriculture aimed to confine African farmers to the Communal Areas. In Dande, northern Zimbabwe, a land reform programme was introduced in 1987 that sought to 'rationalise' local land use practices and render them more efficient. Such reforms were deemed necessary to reduce the pressure on commercial farms. This article describes how the reforms caused Mhondoro mediums in Dande to challenge the authority of the state over land, thereby referring to the role they and their spirits played in the struggle for Independence. Pressure on the mediums to revoke their criticism resulted in a complex process in which adherents challenged the reputation of mediums who were not steadfast in their resistance to the reforms.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa
In: Nature Conservation in Southern Africa
Settling land claims in Africa
This book is about the politicking and strife over land between various stakeholders on the African continent, including Madagascar. It is about attempts to control land tenure ‘from above’ and about local manoeuvring ‘from below’. The contributing authors analyse the intricate relations between the central government, the local government and grassroots level institutions.
In: Inside Poverty and Development in Africa
In: Strength beyond Structure
In: Nature Conservation in Southern Africa
In: Nature Conservation in Southern Africa