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From 'OPEN SEASON' to ROYAL GAME': The Strategic Repositioning of Commercial Farmers across the Independence Transition in Zimbabwe
This paper explores the strategic repositioning of commercial farmers across the Independence transition, from a close proximity to the Rhodesian Front to an alliance with the Mugabe regime. It argues, contrary to most analyses, that commercial farmers were instrumental in leading white Rhodesia towards negotiations, compromise and settlement, and that this positioned them well to retain their privileged access to land and the decision making process after Independence. Whilst recognising that ZANU PF compromised significantly, it illustrates that incomplete reconciliation and ongoing distortions in access to resources kept the racial aspects of the new alliance unsteady.