This paper represents a provisional attempt to assess whether Zimbabwe's land reform coherently addresses the issue of poverty reduction. It examines the short-term outcome(s) of the reform programme in relation to its initial objectives. More specifically, it examines its impact on farm-workers. Historically, a vulnerable social group, the farm-worker population was marginalized in the land reform process. The majority of farm workers lost jobs in the process as well as access to housing and social services such as health care and schools. Thus the outcome of the programme has been the loss of jobs and livelihoods by farm workers on the one hand, and the acquisition of land as a resource by several hundred thousand small farmers, and black commercial farmers. This mixed outcome of land reform deserves critical analysis. The paper argues that social exclusion explains the historical and contemporary marginalization of farm workers with profound social consequences for this group.
Land reform for poverty reduction? Social exclusion reform for poverty reduction? Social exclusion and farm workers in Zimbabwe, presented at Staying Poor: Chronic Poverty and Development Policy, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 7-9 April 2003. Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), Manchester, UK, iii + 18 pp.