Management of land resettlement records in a rural village in Zimbabwe

Theresa Mahlangu, Sindiso Bhebhe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Land records are considered proof of ownership, right to land ownership, and boundaries. Land records provide two types of important evidence. First, they often document family relationships. Second, they place individuals in a specific time and place. This study sought to examine the management of land resettlement records in one of the rural districts in Zimbabwe (this rural district will be anonymously referred to as the “Village”). The research problem was triggered by the heirs of a late neighbour who were on the verge of losing their homestead due to lack of documentation stating the ownership of their acquired land. It remains uncertain whether proper records management practices are being adhered to in this rural village.  Therefore, this article sought to determine the types of records created at this village. Furthermore, the article meant to establish the processes and procedures involved in the management of land resettlement records at this village and also to identify if there are challenges faced in the management of such and what these are. The constructivism paradigm and a qualitative research methodology were applied. A case study design was used. The findings revealed that the records were kept at the village clerk’s homestead. The major challenges identified were the lack of proper records management systems, the lack of storage facilities, the invisibility of the governmental archival support structures such as the National Archives of Zimbabwe and trained records officers. The study recommends a collaboration between the National Archives of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, including the Village being researched, so as to train them about proper records management practices.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalMousaion: South African Journal for Information Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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