Land restitution : the experiences in Kenya and Zimbabwe compared : lessons for South Africa

Wales, Liezl Jo-Ann (2002-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Land has been the revolutionary metaphor for wealth and power in the world and even more so in Africa. Ideally, land reform in Africa should therefore, contribute to social and economic progress and ultimately result in social equity as well as increased agricultural productivity. This study was devoted to the history of colonialism and the meaning and birth of land reform policies after colonialism. Moreover, to familiarise the reader with the various meanings and issues concerning land reform particularly in Kenya and Zimbabwe. The outcome of the study was to provoke further discussion on the need for land reform in other developing countries, especially South Africa, as well as to investigate whether colonialism created certain land ownership patterns that had harmful effects on the political and economic climate after independence in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Kenya has been unable to establish a sustainable land reform programme since independence. Ethnic clashes in the early 1990's were seen as a continuation of a battle to recognise the existence of property rights. The contributing factor to the conflict was the fact that the political leadership in Kenya was the direct beneficiary of land reform policies. Furthermore, the uncontrolled privatisation of public land only resulted in economic and agricultural decay. The Kenyan experience provides no evidence of increase in agricultural production, but inevitably resulted in social and economic inequalities and the emergence of significant landlessness, which was a result of the inadequacy of government, to provide credit as was initially proposed. Zimbabwe faces the painful reality that its political revolutions have only brought them halfway to true independence. The objective for Zimbabwe was to establish a functional socialist economy where decision making would be under political control in order to bring about the drastic redistribution of wealth from whites to blacks and to become independent form capitalists. The importance of land in Zimbabwe did not so much lie in the social and economic inequalities, but rather the inability to access land, accompanied by a growing overpopulation, landlessness, land deterioration and escalating poverty in the black areas parallel with severe under-utilisation of land in the white farming areas. This study concludes that African governmental land reform programmes have had mixed success. The complex nature of the liberation struggles in Africa, created diverse post-independence governmental systems. However, some former colonies illustrate certain common underlying issues such as the fact that years after independence, land remains one of the key unresolved issues in both Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as in South Africa.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gesien in die lig dat grond die revolusionêre metafoor van rykdom en mag in die wêreld, nog te meer in Afrika is, sal dit ideaal wees indien grondhervorming in Afrika kan bydra tot sosiale en ekonomiese bevordering en uiteindelik kan uitloop in sosiale gelykheid asook toename in landbou produktiwiteit. Hierdie studie was toegewy aan die geskiedenis van kolonialisme en die betekenis en oorsprong van grondhervormingsbeleide na kolonialisme, asook om die leser in te lig oor menings en uitgangspunte rakende grondhervorming, spesifiek in Kenya en Zimbabwe. Die doel van die studie was om verdere besprekings oor die behoefte vir grondhervorming in ander ontwikkelende lande, veral Suid-Afrika, uit te lok. Verder om te ondersoek of kolonialisme sekere grondeienaarskappatrone veroorsaak het wat negatiewe effekte op die politieke en ekonomiese klimaat in Kenya en Zimbabwe, na onafhanklikheidswording, veroorsaak het. Kenya is, sedert onafhanklikheidswording, nog nie in staat om 'n volhoudbare grondhervormingsprogram daar te stel nie. Etniese botsings in die vroeë 1990's was gesien as 'n voortsetting van 'n geveg om die bestaan van eiendomsregte te erken. Die bydraende faktor tot die konflik was die feit dat die politieke leierskap in Kenya direkte begunstigdes van die grondhervormingsbeleide was. Verder het onbeheerde privatisering van openbare grond ekonomiese en landbou verval tot gevolg gehad. Die Kenya ondervinding voorsien geen bewyse van toename in landbou produktiwiteit nie, maar het onvermydelik sosiale en ekonomiese ongelykhede en die ontstaan van merkwaardige grondloosheid tot gevolg gehad as gevolg van die onvermoeë van die regering om krediet te voorsien soos aanvanklik voorgestel was. Zimbabwe staar die pynlike realiteit in die oë dat hul politieke revolusies hulle slegs halfpad tot ware onafhanklikheid gebring het. Die doel vir Zimbabwe was om 'n funksionele sosialistiese ekonomie daar te stel waar besluitneming onder politieke beheer sou wees om sodanig drastiese herverdeling van rykdom vanaf blankes na swartes, asook onafhanklikheid van kapitaliste, te bewerkstellig. Die belangrikheid van grond het nie soveel in die sosiale en ekonomiese ongelykhede gelê nie, maar liewer in die onvermoë om grond te bekom tesame met 'n toenemende oorbevolking, grondloosheid, grondverarming en toenemende armoede in swart gebiede. 'n Bydraende faktor was die uiterse onderbenutting van grond in blanke boerdery gebiede. In samevatting wys hierdie studie dat grondhervormingsprogramme van regerings in Afrika gemengde sukses behaal het. Die kompleksiteit van die bevrydingstryde in Afrika het uiteenlopende post-onafhanklike regeringstelsels tot stand gebring. Nietemin, illustreer somige voormalige kolonies sekere algemene onderliggende uitgangspunte, onder andere die feit dat grond, jare na onafhanklikheid, steeds een van die belangrikste onopgeloste vraagstukke in beide Kenya en Zimbabwe, sowel as Suid-Afrika is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52912
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