To read this content please select one of the options below:

The generational questions after land reform in Zimbabwe: a social reproduction perspective

Clement Chipenda (SARChI Chair in Social Policy, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa)
Tom Tom (Development Studies, Zimbabwe Open University, Harare, Zimbabwe)

African Journal of Economic and Management Studies

ISSN: 2040-0705

Article publication date: 8 January 2020

Issue publication date: 28 September 2020




The purpose of this paper is to provide a contemporary perspective on post land reform Zimbabwe with special focus on the youth. It uses the social reproduction conceptual framework to show that two decades after land reform, there are generational questions which are now arising in the new resettlement areas which need deeper, empirical and more nuanced analysis to comprehend. In a context where some countries in Southern Africa are grappling with the best ways of dealing with their land questions, it shows that from a youth perspective, the Fast Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) has important lessons.


The study was largely qualitative and grounded in an interpretive research paradigm. It employed various data gathering instruments and solicited for responses from 151 young people as well as 11 key informants. The study used the social reproduction perspective as a conceptual and evaluative tool to ascertain the outcomes of the FTLRP from a social reproduction perspective with special focus on young people.


The study showed that there are some young people in the resettlement areas who blame the land reform programme for the challenging socio-economic situation which they are facing. It also shows that for the youth, the FTLRP has had multi-dimensional impact; while some are complaining, others have managed to use their agency to access natural resources and land, which has seen them “accumulating from below”. For some young people, land reform has positively transformed their lives, while others feel that it has limited their opportunities.


The paper provides new and contemporary insights on post land reform Zimbabwe. This is an area which is increasingly gaining traction in scholarship on the FTLRP. In addition, the paper provides a unique perspective of looking at the issue of the youth from a social reproduction perspective; this is a unique academic contribution. Lastly, the paper is useful insofar as it transcends the debates on the FTLRP to proffer a unique analysis on the social reproduction dimensions of the FTLRP.



Chipenda, C. and Tom, T. (2020), "The generational questions after land reform in Zimbabwe: a social reproduction perspective", African Journal of Economic and Management Studies, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 403-425.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles