Land reform in Zimbabwe, class dynamics and delayed Bandung: an interview with Sam Moyo
YAN Hairong and CHEN Yiyuan
Interviewers’ note: Land reform in Zimbabwe has caught the world’s attention. It’s condemned by the mainstream in the West. It has also been highly controversial in South Africa, as post-apartheid South Africa has been unable to address the historical legacy of severe land inequality. What we find interesting and intriguing is that the land reform in Zimbabwe occurred at a time when neo-liberalism was raging in the world. What has been the historical and political context and dynamics of the land reform in Zimbabwe? Doe it bear any relationship with the earlier land reforms in some former colonial and semi-colonial countries around the mid-20th century? What are its implications for the understanding and challenging the current world system? On April 19, 2016, we had an opportunity to discuss these questions in person with Zimbabwe-based Sam Moyo, a leading agrarian political economist and a critical thinker in Africa. He was attending the Hangzhou Forum of Bandung/Third World 60 Years.
Notes on interviewee
Sam Moyo (1954-2015) was Executive Director of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS) in Harare, Zimbabwe. He was the Editor-in-Chief of Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy (Sage India), and former President of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA). A Ph.D. in Rural Development and Environmental Management from University of Northumbria, United Kingdom, his major publications include: African land questions, agrarian transitions and the state: contradictions of neoliberal land reforms (2008); Land reform under structural adjustment in Zimbabwe: land use change in the Mashonaland Provinces (2000); The land question in Zimbabwe (1995); Reclaiming the land: the resurgence of rural movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America (2005, co-edited with Paris Yeros); Land and sustainable development in Africa (2008, co-edited with Kojo Sebastian Amanor); Reclaiming the nation: the return of the national question in Africa, Asia and Africa (2011, co-edited with Paris Yeros); Land and Agrarian Reform Zimbabwe: Beyond White-Settler Capitalism (2013, co-edited with Walter Chambati).
Notes on interviewers
Yan Hairong teaches in the Department of Applied Social Sciences at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. She is the author of New masters, new servants: migration, development and women workers in China (Duke University Press, 2008) and co-editor of “What’s Left of Asia,” a special issue of positions (15.2). Her current interests include China-Africa links, agrarian changes and the food sovereignty movement. She is conducting research on China-Africa links and rural China in globalization.
Chen Yiyuan teaches in the Department of Sociology in the College of Humanities Development at China Agricultural University. Her research interests include China’s agrarian change, rural development, and food sovereignty movement.