23 September 1954 – 22 November 2015
In deep sorrow, we inform the sudden and tragic death of Professor Sam Moyo, dear scholar and activist, last Sunday, November 22th. Sam Moyo was in New Delhi, India, where he had just participated in the conference “Labour Questions in the Global South”, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, when we was involved in a fatal car accident.
Sam Moyo was born in 1954 in Harare, Zimbabwe; was a fluent speaker of English, Ndebele and Shona; and obtained both his scholars degrees and his political formation between Zimbabwe, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Canada. For the last thirty years, Sam was engaged in researches and policy concerning agrarian issues at Zimbabwe, at the SADC and in Africa as a whole. He acted strongly at the University, in the government and in organizations of the civil society, concerning mostly themes as land expropriation, food, agriculture and energy policy. He never let himself be fooled by the manacheist attacks to his country’s political situation. With an accurate critical spirit, extraordinary energy and exemplary integrity, Sam promoted, during all his lifetime and in everywhere he walked in, conversations based on empirical researches about land expropriation and its effects over economical and sociological theories about peasantry and globalization.
Moyo had been professor at the University of Zimbabwe and head of the Department of Agricultural and Rural Development from 1987 to 1995. During the 1990s, he was the head of the Land Reform of the Government of Zimbabwe’s Technical Advisory Team. Between 1995 and 2011, he was director of the SARIPS (Southern Africa Regional Institute for Policy Studies), and led the establishment and maintenance of a Regional Masters Degree in Policy Studies based in Harare.
As a founder member and Executive Director of the African Institute for Agrarian Studies (AIAS), Sam Moyo was directly involved in policy researches concerning agrarian issues in Africa. He also coordenated research networks in the global South, inspired by his strong defense of the Pan Africanism and the solidarity among countries from the global South. Moyo was also president, vice-president and Executive Committee Member of the CODESRIA (Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa).
Sam Moyo had a close relation with Brazil. He was visitor professor in several Universities, like Universidade de Brasília (UnB), Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) and Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). One outgrowth of that close relationship is the International Journal Agrarian South, in which Moyo was Editor-in-Chief. The Journal was founded in 2012 and is published by SAGE. It’s aim is to be a channel through which a specific kind of intellectual production can be published, expressed and get to be known. That is the production of a South that is not geographical, but claims its right to land based on counter-hegemonical struggles of thousands of people whose political projects are intellectually undervalued due to their inadequacy concerning the established models.
Two of Sam Moyo’s most relevant publications are:
Moyo, S. and Chambati, W. (eds.). Land and Agrarian Reform in Zimbabwe: Beyond White-Settler Capitalism, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) Dakar, 2013.
Moyo, S. and Yeros, P. (eds) Reclaiming the Land: The Resurgence of Rural Movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America. London, Zed Books, 2005.
Sam Moyo leaves his wife and children. His death is an inestimable loss, both political and intellectual for the Social Sciences. Sam’s cleverness, humour and his irremovable smile willcertainly live in the most hard debates in which we shall continually engage ourselves.
Marcelo Rosa – Laboratory of Non-Exemplary Sociology (Laboratório de Sociologia Não-Exemplar)
Antonádia Borges and Stella Paterniani – Study Group in Anthropological Theory (Grupo de Estudos em Teoria Antropológica – gesta)
Universidade de Brasília (University of Brasília, UnB, Brazil)