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Losing the Plot: The Strategic Dismantling of White Farming in Zimbabwe 2000-2005
This paper examines the dismantling of the white farming sector in Zimbabwe after 2000. It argues that although ZANU PF portrayed farm invasions as a demonstrable effort towards populist land reforms, the 'fast-track' strategy was primarily one of political survival, and that this is evident in the pattern of land invasions and land allocations. Farm invasions quickly evolved into a systematic and methodical purge of commercial farms, to undermine support for the MDC from farmers and farm workers. Local contexts and local politics shaped the nature of local invasions, but the overall program was centrally endorsed and centrally co-ordinated.
The reallocation of farms and assets were strategically geared towards placating key groups and key individuals within ZANU PF's increasingly militarised patronage system. Finally, this paper explores the reactions, counter strategies and patterns of collapse within the white farming sector. It illustrates how the community and its institutions fragmented along established planes of historical division, re-emphasising the significance of differentiation among farmers, throughout their history