Development-Induced Displacements in Zimbabwe: Learning from Colonial and Post-Colonial Experiences

This book on development-induced displacements in Zimbabwe unpacks the underexplored risks and vulnerabilities encountered by affected communities in different parts of the country. Such threats include socioeconomic and environmental factors that aggravate people’s vulnerabilities to hunger, disease and structural marginalisation. The policy relevant book also critiques Zimbabwe’s legal architecture and regulations governing development-induced displacements (DIDs) in both the colonial and post-colonial periods, as well as proffering alternative safeguards for protecting people from the negative implications of the arbitrariness common to the country’s development processes. From the construction of the hydro-electric power generating Kariba Dam in the 1950s to the post-colonial emergency of the irrigation water supplying Osborne and Tugwi-Mukosi dams, Zimbabwe’s celebrated artificial water bodies have been iconic representations of state-initiated development projects that inevitably put human welfare at risk. The first section includes a historical overview of development-induced displacements in Zimbabwe, a study of the Zimbabwean legal framework protecting the rights of displaced people, as well as an analysis of Zimbabwe’s complex land tenure systems in the context of displacement processes. The second section consists of two case studies on development induced displacements during the colonial era. The case studies analyse the relocation and compensation processes undertaken by colonial administrations and the long-lasting legacy of those displacements, which negatively affect the displaced people until today. The third section consists of case studies on development-induced displacements that occurred after independence. The case studies analyse how relocation and compensation processes were handled by the responsible authorities, how they affected the displaced people and which lessons can be learnt from those experiences.