The Land Question in Zimbabwe: Can Indian Jurisprudence Provide the Answers?
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This paper examines first, the nature of the land issue and how it was dealt with in the Lancaster House Agreement of December 1979* 1 which gave Zimbabwe its independence. Furthermore, the goals of the government's National Land Policy will be outlined. In this regard, the amendment to the Constitution to achieve the realisation of those objectives will be examined. Finally, an analysis will be made of the possible challenges that could be made to the constitutional amendments and relevant provisions of the Land Acquisition Act of 1992.2 The jurisprudence from India dealing with amendments to constitutional provisions guaranteeing an owner's right to property will be discussed and suggestions made on how the issue could be approached in Zimbabwe. India has been selected for illustration because India emerged from British colonial rule (like Zimbabwe) with a dichotomy of extremely rich and propertied classes and the pathetically poor and backward classes. It will be demonstrated that the problems of constitutional interpretation likely to arise reflect the crisis of trying to balance individual private rights to property and the public interest in land re-organisation ostensibly aimed at redressing past colonial imbalances.