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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Security of Tenure, Development Victims, and Limits of Environmental Imapct Assessment in Zimbabwe's Communal Lands
Author:Mbiba, BeaconISNI
Periodical:Development in Practice
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:land law
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
Anthropology and Archaeology
Abstract:Common lands in Zimbabwe do not offer secure tenure. While insecurity remains, the inhabitants of communal areas will remain development victims. This paper draws on the example of black granite extraction activity in the Mutoko District to highlight the insecurity faced by communal households in order to show that usufruct rights without individual ownership of land do not empower rural communities to negotiate the development process and to get compensation for losses occasioned by mining development. There is a need to amend the Mines and Minerals Act. The upsurge of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as a component of development projects offers limited benefits to communal land households. At best, an EIA can help mitigate impacts rather than being able to restructure the status quo. Under the Mines and Minerals Act (1990) the government listed black granite as a mineral. Hence control over this resource shifted from the Mutoko Rural District Council (RDC) to the Ministry of Mines. Since then, neither local communities, nor the RDC or traditional leaders have control over the activities of the quarry operators, who are not legally or administratively obliged to compensate communities for their loss of land, livestock, cultural heritage, and peace, or incomes lost. Land reform should start from below with individual tenure. Bibliogr., notes, ref.