Money, power and the complexities of urban land corruption in Zimbabwe | Land Portal

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Copyright (c) 2020 African Journal on Land Policy and Geospatial Sciences

ABSTRACT Urban land in Zimbabwe is a lucrative economic and thus political asset. Increased demand for urban land across the country has been driven by multiple factors including high rates of urbanization, increased rural-urban migration, urban population growth and serious challenges in housing provision post-independence. This paper uses desk research to map out the actors and contestations over land. It highlights case studies from Harare and Chitungwiza that show how political power leads to primitive accumulation in which politicians and politically connected individuals use land as an economic and political asset. Some of these individuals are popularly known as land barons who use corruption to swindle home seekers of their money. There are multiple cases of people who have lost millions of dollars to these illicit land dealers. The paper also focuses on peri urban areas where land has emerged as a political tool to control and amass votes for the ruling ZANU PF. People have illegally settled on land and use political affiliation to ensure their continued occupancy. The political complexities involved in land corruption make difficult to combat the problem. Politicians and bureaucrats with responsibility to fight corruption are also entangled in the web of corrupt dealings which make is difficult to end the problem.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Chiweshe, Manase Kudzai