The mechanics of land alienation: 1890- c.1904
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This paper is devoted to an examination, by no means exhaustive, of the actual processes and procedures involved in the alienation of land - the translation into reality of abstract rights. Such an investigation into the mechanics of land alienation, it is hoped, will enable us to elicit what criteria, if any, were used in the alienation of land. This in turn should throw some light on the 'red soil - sandy or granite soil', argument.(l) Briefly stated the 'red soils' argument and its proponents hold that the present division of land in Rhodesia whereby the rich red black and heavy.productive soils - 'the blue star diorite' soils(2) - are owned by the whites while the poor granite sandy and unproductive soils are held by Africans, is the result not of pure chance but of careful selection and location of farms by the whites.(3) This paper seeks, by searching scrutiny of the relevant documents as regards the alienation of land in the early years (since1those were the years in which most of the land was alienated), to test the validity of that argument. Crudely stated this paper Seeks to answer the question: When a man went out to 'peg off' a farm did he know the type of soil he was pegging on? And, if he did, what Was the source of his knowledge? In other words, were there any guidelines on what soils to and not to peg on?