An interrogation of public authority and tenure security in fast track resettlement farms in Zimbabwe

Arnold’s thesis explores the reconstruction and reconfiguration of ‘state-society’ relations after Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP), particularly how relationships between state and non-state institutions [with ‘twilight’ characteristics] that exercise authority over land and people have been constructed and contested.

The thesis is based on evidence gathered from in-depth interviews conducted in three study sites located within Mazowe District as well as review of documentary sources. More specifically, the thesis interrogates the complex ways in which competing and inter-connected forms and structures of authority have emerged and evolved in the aftermath of FTLRP and how they have had to negotiate the contestations emanating from the complex challenges of mediating access to ‘public resources’; reallocating, enforcing and securing land rights; regulating tenure practices and land use, as well as; managing redistributional conflicts and maintaining social and political order.

The thesis also investigates how socio-political processes that have occurred within and outside the state have bolstered the authority of some actors whilst marginalising that of others and why some claims to authority have been successful whilst others have not been.

Finally, the thesis unpacks how different state and non-state institutions have pursued competing social, economic and political goals and reveals why certain goals have taken precedence over others at different times and within specific contexts.

Arnold Chamunogwa
Research Student