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Zimbabwe: Documentary lays bare the vulnerabilities of rural communities reliant on subsistence farming for livelihoods

‘Documentary On Induced Displacements Brings Insight’ 26 September 2019

In the absence of a nationally binding framework to cushion communities relocated to pave way for development activities like mining, their social and economic rights are exposed to violations. Weak land tenure framework in communal and commercial agriculture have allowed activities such as mining to take precedents over agriculture despite Zimbabwe being the African food basket. This saw thousands of families in Marange displaced to pave way for diamond mining, a clear wake-up call for responsible authorities to take action.

Rural communities occupy land on the benevolence of the state, which legally owns land, with limited bargaining power for fair compensation once they are relocated to new areas. To compound this, cultural and social rights are violated, livelihood projects are halted as communities are moved to new areas without requisite infrastructure to resemble or promote their economic activities. A documentary produced by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) in conjunction with Action Aid Zimbabwe, lays bare these vulnerabilities of rural communities, reliant on subsistence farming for livelihoods.