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...ollect firewood and fruit. However, the farmer himself said he put up fences, which villagers would slash down and take away (“The War of the Fence”). Fortmman argues that it is highly unlikely, given the colonial history of Zimbabwe and the character of the white farmer in question, that these gates ever existed. Yet the existence of these gates were part of a discursive strategy of the villages to assert and articulate their claims to the commercial farm land and its resources. By claiming that even the previous owner of the land, the white man, had recognized their rights to the land, they could question how “one of us” (the new black owners) failed to do so. The villagers say they were promised they would get the farms after independence in return for their suffering. The villagers tell these stories to legitimate their ongoing claim to the land denied to them.
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