The Situation of Commercial Farm Workers after Land Reform in Zimbabwe

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It would be advisable to revisit the criteria of land allocation and ensure that the landless, women and farm workers receive preference. Land allocated for prospective black commercial farmers remains unoccupied: of the projected 51,000, about 30,000 have taken up land. The remaining land should be allocated equitably to the priority groups. So should land that was allegedly taken up as second or third farms by some members of the elite. There is a compelling case for an independent land commission to ensure transparent and equitable land distribution. The agrarian reform needs both national and international credibility: its funding will depend partly on this. It would be useful to organise an international land conference that would consider these issues, and especially support for farm workers, the resettled small farmers, and long-term food security. An evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the fast-track programme would help in planning the next phase of reform.

Major players in this process should include: government, UNDP, the European Union, the Commonwealth, bilateral and multilateral donors, GAPWUZ, the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF), local and international NGOs, the Independent Land Commission.

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