Rezoned for business: How eco-tourism unlocked black farmland in eastern Zimbabwe

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30 Scopus citations


Eco-tourism is undermining black smallholders' entitlement to land in Zimbabwe. In the 1890s, British administrators restrained whites from alienating the whole of the country by demarcating native reserves. In terms of this limited aim, the policy of native reserves worked. It ensured a land base for black agriculture, particularly for women and children. In the late 1980s, however, CAMPFIRE (Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources) invited the tourism industry to begin operations in the lowland reserves. These firms have claimed land, made money and relocated smallholders. Based on economic and ecological arguments, CAMPFIRE has redefined the black entitlement as merely a claim competing with those of other 'stakeholders'. No guarantees exist for residents and cultivators. Indeed, government and NGOs are fast transforming the lowland reserves into privileged and subsidized investment zones. Held in check for a century, a new kind of settler colonialism is sweeping down from the highlands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)576-599
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Agrarian Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Archaeology
  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology


  • Community-based natural resources management
  • Eco-tourism
  • Evictions
  • Settler colonialism
  • Zimbabwe

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