Zimbabwe's land reform: myths and realities 2 purports to overturn the western media and academy's myths of agrarian failure and cronyism in Zimbabwe's fast-track land reform with a study rooted in the reality of its outcomes in the Masvingo area. Yet the positivist picture painted by Scoones, Marongwe, Mavedzenge, Mahenehene, Murimbarimba, and Sukume is another position in portrayals of a complex process entangling many local material struggles-including those seen as successful examples of the yeomanry admired by the authors-with the equally important processes of authoritarian nationalism they side-line. Myth making is not counter to reality, but positions particular claims within it. By concentrating on the local and celebrating what they see as non-technocratic successes, the authors ignore the context and politics of the state-which they later invoke to develop adequate supportive policy and stability for the new farmers. Their reality ignores as much as the myths they try to challenge, and thus fails to assist to develop the policies they would like.

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Keywords agrarian policy, developmental state, land reform, nationalism, rural transformation, Zimbabwe
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1080/02589001.2012.641724
Journal Journal of Contemporary African Studies
Rutherford, B. (2012). Shifting the debate on land reform, poverty and inequality in Zimbabwe, an engagement with Zimbabwe's Land Reform: Myths and Realities 1. Journal of Contemporary African Studies (Vol. 30, pp. 147–157). doi:10.1080/02589001.2012.641724