This is the conclusion of The Struggle for Land in Zimbabwe (1890-2010) that The Patriot has been serialising and author Dr Felix Muchemwa notes that the Supreme Court ruling of January 26 2011 marked the end of the struggle for land in Zimbabwe since the invasion of Zimbabwe by the Pioneer Column in 1890.
THE Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, on July 29 1918, after noting that Zimbabwe’s territory was conquered territory in 1893 (Matabeleland) and 1896-1898 (Mashonaland), declared that all land in Rhodesia was ‘Crown Land’ because: It was intended that the Crown should assume and exercise the right to dispose of the whole of the land, not then in private ownership, then it made itself owner of the land to all intents and purposes as completely as any sovereign can be owner of lands, which are publici juris. (Report of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council of July 29 1918)
The Zimbabwe Government ultimately transformed that ‘land in private ownership,’ as recognised by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, into ‘agricultural state land’, the equivalent of ‘Crown Land,’ under the Constitutional Amendment Section 16 B of the Zimbabwe Constitution.
The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, on January 26 2011, ultimately made a final ruling on the legality of land acquisition under Section 16 B of the Constitution and recognised the state as the sole owner of all agricultural land in Zimbabwe. (The Herald, January 27 p.4-5)
The Supreme Court ruling of January 26 2011 marked the end of the struggle for land in Zimbabwe since the invasion of Zimbabwe by the Pioneer Column in 1890.
It must be noted that Zimbabweans have waged three bloody revolutionary wars in 120 years since 1890 to 2010, each revolution taking not less than 10 years.
This means Zimbabwe has been forced into revolutionary wars almost every 40 years since 1890.
The loss of human life, the suffering and the destruction of resources cannot continue at this rate.
It is hoped that the Third Chimurenga for land is the last.