Mambo G. Mupepi PhD
Adjunct Faculty Grand Valley State University/
Visiting Scholar Center for International and Comparative Studies
University of Michigan
From early inception of colonialism to contemporary Zimbabwe there are three major contending forces. The first force is the claim by the Zimbabwean government embedded in the discourse of “patriotic history” in which the acquisition of land is seen as the third phase in the liberation of Zimbabwe. The second is the assertion by the land-occupying European settlers who insist that the land acquisition violated their constitutional and legal rights to land ownership. The third force is the land factor which has drawn much international acclaim; and it has two dimensions. The first is Euro-American and the second is Pan African perspective. The
Euro-American perspective actively advocates the position of the European farmers and democratic governances. The Pan-African position silently endorses President Robert Mugabe’s land acquisition program, which is regarded largely as irreversible and a
in fluid colonial Africa and a continuously unfolding drama of Africa’s engagement of its colonial legacy. Today at least 90% of the land has been re-distributed to Zimbabwean citizens who, at the best of times, have neither the capacity nor the resources to sustain the comparative cost ratios that once made the country Africa’s bread basket
The discourse reflects that the crisis is colonially fluid and highly contested but can allow the advancement of a framework for local and international engagement to facilitate the re-construction of Zimbabwe.
This presentation is made in four parts. The
is to provide an introduction of the state of Zimbabwe. It also provides an introduction to the historical beginning of the state of
Zimbabwe and some of the events leading to the present crisis in Zimbabwe.
The second objective
is to summarize a carefully selected literature that gives an overview of historical and political perspective of contemporary life in Zimbabwe. The
is to suggest an
Organization Development intervention that can be deployed to advance strategies to re-build the economy of Zimbabwe. The
is to propose areas of research that can advance the overall re-construction of Zimbabwe.
Jan van Riebeck landed at what is now Cape Town in 1652. He was the first Dutch governor of the Cape, and is credited with being responsible for introducing the European presence in Southern Africa. In 1866 Jan van Riebeck’s compatriot Louis Aderrndoff led a
Dutch team that successfully negotiated a concession to hunt, mine and settle in Zimbabwe in
1866 long before Cecil John Rhodes’s Pioneer Column arrived in 1890 (Mazarire 2006).
More than half of European-Zimbabweans, primarily of English origin, arrived in
Zimbabwe after World War II. Afrikaners from South Africa and other European minorities, including Portuguese from Mozambique, are also present. Until the mid-1970s, there were about
1,000 European immigrants per year, but from 1976 to 1985 a steady emigration resulted in a loss of more than 150,000, leaving about 100,000 in 1992. Renewed European emigration in the late 1990s and early 2000s reduced the European population to less than 50,000 (Britannica
2009). English, the official language, is spoken by the European Zimbabwean population and understood by more 94.1% of the African population (MSN, 2007). Mudenge (1988) suggests
that the present state of Zimbabwe is directly related to Munhumutapa Empire of about 1400-
1902. The same Zimbabwe is described by the Portuguese as one of the richest parts of Africa which incorporated present day Mozambique from the 14 th
up to 18 th
Centuries (Beach 1984).
The histories of Mozambique and Zimbabwe overlap and the two countries, among many others in Africa, were created as a result of the Scramble for Africa in 1884 (Axelson, 1967). It took a long time and many players to build the infrastructure and the now collapsed economy of
The area of Zimbabwe is about 390,580 sq. km which is slightly larger than Montana,
USA. The capital is Harare which houses the central government and parliament and a population of about 1.5 million. The overall Zimbabwean population is estimated to be between
8 and 9 million with a growth rate depressed by an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate which is also approximated to be 15.6% and a high level of emigration. The same source suggests a rough
Annual Growth rate of 0.8% (World Bank, 2006).
The population is diversified as follows: 71% are people of the Rozvi descendants, collectively known as the Shona (Ranger 1985). The Ndebele people whose genealogy is South
African (Ndlovu-Gatsheni 2003) make up 16% of the population. There are other Africans from neighboring states who make up 11% of the population. The Europeans make up 1%, while people of mixed races and of Asian descent make up the remaining 1% (CIA-Factbook 2009).
Zimbabwe is a Christian country and has 75% of the population following that faith; about 24% are an offshoot of Christian and African Traditional Religion while others such as Hindu or
Muslim constitute 1% of the population.
Official and local Languages
The English Language is the official medium for communications it is followed by the Shona, and Ndebele Languages. All the three languages are taught in the school systems.
School attendance is mandatory for primary school level (elementary and part of middle school) and thereafter secondary education is made available to all citizens for a fee. The adult literacy used to be 95% prior to independence but it is estimated to have fallen to 90.5%
Infant mortality rate
is 51.7/1,000 (2006 est.).
for is men 37years and 34 years for women (Human Development Report, 2008).
The type of government in Zimbabwe is parliamentary, which has two houses, the Assembly and the Senate. It is a government system that was bestowed upon Zimbabwe in the Lancaster
Constitution Agreement of December 21, 1979. The country achieved self-rule after a long and protracted Chimurenga War which was fought from 1882 to 1904 and continued again from
1963 to 1980 (Mutsawiro, 1983; & Ranger 1984;).
Branches of government
The parliamentary system has two distinct branches of government. The
branch is headed by the President (chief of state and head of government), Prime Minister as the head of
Company head of government. The Cabinet has a bicameral function. The first is the House of
Assembly and the second is the Senate. The judiciary system has .the High Court, Court of
Appeal, local and customary courts.
A new development is the creation and appointment of provincial governors to preside over
Town Councils and District Councils. The implication is that the village development committee
(VIDCO), ward development committee (WADCO) and district development committee
(DIDCO) will report directly to the provincial governors simultaneously weakening the position of democratically elected council officials and strengthening the position of the ruling political party, Zanu-PF. About 75% of Zimbabwe’s population lives in the rural areas where Zanu-PF is pronounced vociferously in VIDCOs, WADCOs and DIDCOs to reign supreme politically.
Main political parties
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF); the Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC); and the United People's Party (UPP) are the current political parties in Zimbabwe (CIA World Fact- book 2009).
A short history: the arrival of the Europeans
In this discourse, the historical perspective is important because of three reasons. Firstly, the rhetoric of modernization in Zimbabwe owes its origin to the European settlers who punctuated a cultural equilibrium that had been in existence since the arrival of Father Gonzales
Da Silveira in 1565. (Kendal, 1912) asserts that the arrival introduced new culture such as the
Christian religion and formal education, among many others. It introduced a Christian foundation particularly the Anglo-American religiosity and political discourse that exist in Zimbabwe today and differentiate the country from many other African states. The discourse helps to identify and define the prevailing culture and enable the advancement of sustainable change in Zimbabwe.
Three racial groups
There are three racial groups that settled in Zimbabwe during the 18 th
Century who today are part of Zimbabwean citizens. One group is the Nguni, people of the Zulu nation in South
Africa who were led by Mzilikazi Khumalo referred to as the Matabele who crossed the
Limpopo River in 1827 and settled at present day Bulawayo, Matabeleland in Zimbabwe. The
Matabele are then the first group. They were followed by the Voer Trekkers, a people of Dutch origin referred to as Afrikaners or Boers who crossed the Limpopo River in 1866 settling in present day Melsetter, Eastern Manicaland in Zimbabwe and at Enkledorn present day Chivhu in the Midlands, Zimbabwe. The Afrikaners or the Boers are the second group. The occupation of
Zimbabwe by Europeans en-masse in 1890 was organized by an English empire builder, Cecil
John Rhodes. Aggressive British behavior led to the illegal occupation of Zimbabwe by
European settlers en masse from 1890 and thereafter. The English settlers commonly referred to as the Pioneer Column forms the third group. These three groups together with the Shona people form the main background of Zimbabwean citizens today.
The political aspects of the present crisis originate in the First Chimurenga War (meaning the First Struggle against settler regime). Many scholars assert that the European settlement demonstrated the aggression that characterizes the discourse of the British Empire in the 18 th
Centuries. Bhebe (1979) proposes that the Christian doctrine was unethically used to pacify
Africans by the settler regime and early missionaries. Bhebe argues that the resistance to accept this doctrine was viewed as a decline of accepting the British Monarch as the supreme authority of the land. African kings such as Chingayira Makoni or Kadungure Mapondera rose to defend their sovereignty against such unwarranted aggression.
Ranger (1982) and Mutswairo (1983) allude to the fact that the First Chimurenga started in 1882 when Lobengula Khumalo, heir to the Ndebele chieftainship and son of Mzilikazi
Khumalo, commanded his militia to assassinate Pasipamire Chaminuka the Prophet of
Zimbabwe; and ended with the death of King Kadungure Mapondera in a Salisbury, Southern
Rhodesia prison in 1904. In this discussion the First Chimurenga War is the beginning of a military effort to resist the occupation of Zimbabwe by Europeans. There were a number of kingdoms that made up a post-Mutapa State (Pikirayi, 1993). King Mapondera presided over part of the present day Mazowe Valley, Great Dyke area including Lower Guruve into the Zambezi
River (Isaacman & Isaacman, 1978). There were other kings and chiefs which is difficult for a settler to determine who presided in what area unless if they had decided to consult the locals.
Rhodes decided to consult with another alien, Lobengula, who also was struggling to settle in
Zimbabwe at that time. Rhodes later tricked Lobengula in all the treaties that followed thereafter
Resistance to both European and Matabele settlers
The resistance to settler rule climaxed with a much organized and intensive resistance by
Chingayira Makoni, a king among the Nyika people. Nyika area encompassed present day area of Headlands, Rusape, Mutare and Manica province in Mozambique. Ranger (1982a); Newitt
(1995); and Huffman (2008) suggest that the whole of Manica area was effectively controlled in
and 18 th
Centuries by the successive kings of the Makoni people, and all the other chiefs had been subordinate to them. Huffman (2008) considers that the Chipunza-Makoni Dynasty was a spread of complex social systems that included Mandamabwe in present day Northern Transvaal and all of present day Mozambique. Newitt (1995) asserts that the Chipunza-Makoni Dynasty was engaged in international trade with the Portuguese that dated to the 14 th
Century. When the
English settlers arrived in Great Zimbabwe, they found the young King Chingayira Makoni armed with guns and ammunition supplied by the Portuguese. Mudenge (1984) suggests that the end of the Rozvi Empire under Changamire led to the divisions of the empire that created the kings, paramount chiefs, sub-chiefs and kraal-heads.
The arguments drawn by Mutswairo (1978); Isaacman & Isaacman (1978) indicate that the Chingayira Makoni, Mapondera and Nehanda Nyakasikana are direct descendants of the
Mutapa family. The same applies to King Kadungure Mapondera. Despite the hegemony of
Zanu-PF, the genealogy of some of the political leadership in Zimbabwe is associated with the
Mutapa Empire. Mbuya Nehanda Nyakasikana, Kadungure Mapondera, Sekuru Kaguvi,
Gumboreshumba Mapondera, Chingayira Makoni, Chief Chibi, among many others, where some of the leadership that has a direct lineage top the Mutapa Empire.
Poverty in Zimbabwe
At the arrival of settler groups, Zimbabweans lived on land and worked the iron ore, gold and copper mines to make rudimentary tools, and use the gold to facilitate international trade with the Portuguese (Atmore et al, 1971). Today the land to draw such livelihoods has been taken away in one way or another. Atmore (1971) considers that large proportions of Africans declined in economic prosperity and in social coherence were no longer capable of producing surpluses, or even subsistence, from their lands, and were forced off these lands.
Atmore et al assert that the rhetoric of colonialism in Southern Africa is paralleled with a century of successive imperial administrations that advanced Apartheid and unjustifiable possession of
African land and helped create the present-day poverty among the Africans. Alwang (2002) suggests that up to the year of self-rule in 1980, all the prime land was owned by European settlers and their business organizations (The Land Apportionment Act 1930 and The Land
Husbandry Act, 1950). These were some of the causes of the Chimurenga War from 1882 to
1904 and continued again from 1963 and ended with African victory in 1980.
Allen (2008) suggests that the focus of British colonization was on exploiting the world’s resources at all costs. The discourse projects an advanced nation that set out to introduce civilization and Christianity to the world. Allen argues that the British at that time of occupation in Zimbabwe by the Europeans in the 18 th
Century perceived that it was the duty of the Church to educate the local people and to teach them how to read and write. It was an education that enabled the transference of some of the technology from Britain to the colonies worldwide. The
Zanu-PF political party and its leadership blame the British government for the crisis in
Zimbabwe today (Fletcher & Bridgland, 2008). President Robert Mugabe has often blamed the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair for Zimbabwe’s economic woes. On March 23 rd
, 2005 the state run and the country’s biggest newspaper in terms of circulation, ran a full-page advertisement declared: “Bury Blair, Vote Zanu PF.” In bullet points, the British Prime Minister was blamed for everything from “racist factory closures” to “politically motivated price increases” and sanctions (Xan, 2005). The state declared a state of emergency and appealed to the international community to help combat rampant cholera in an unprecedented acknowledgement of its failings. With the official death toll from the cholera epidemic reaching
570 and 13,000 people infected Chaignut (2008) admits that Zimbabwe’s once-proud medical system had collapsed. Fletcher & Bridgland assert that President Robert Mugabe blames Britain repeatedly for his country’s many problems. When historical perspectives are analyzed, the information can be used to advance an economic strategy to the re-construction of Zimbabwe.
Company rule and Apartheid in Zimbabwe
Apartheid is an Afrikaans word which means separate economic development for two or more racial groups. In this case it was designed to separate the economic development for
European settlers, Indians and “colored” people and Africans. “Colored” referred to people of mixed races such as Africans and Europeans or Indians and African. Pass laws were enacted as a means of tracking the movement of Africans in “European designated places” such as residential suburbs, town apartments or houses, industrial sites, European farms, etc. The BSAC issued the passes which could be valid for a month, six months or a year. Rasmussen & Rubert (1990) suggest that the BSAC recruited its own army and raised capital from three prominent people:
Cecil John Rhodes, Alfred Beit and the Duke of Abercorn. From its inception in 1898 by a royal charter, the British South Africa Company (BSAC) was the ruler of the new found land of
Rhodesia until the royal charter expired in 1923. At this point the settler community held a referendum to decide if they should govern themselves or join the Union of South Africa all within the British Empire. The settlers elected to rule themselves rather than join the Union of
South Africa. Thus in 1923 the countries known then as Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe),
Nyasaland (Malawi) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) became self governing British colonies.
The settlement of Rhodesians by the British South Africa Company (BSAC)
The present day boundaries of Zimbabwe are a creation of the empire builder Cecil John
Rhodes. After tricking Lobengula, Rhodes successfully organized the settlement of hundreds of
Europeans to settle in Zimbabwe in 1890. The events led to the BSAC to receive royal recognition by the British Monarch and the “royal charter” status was conferred to the company in 1898.
Schemata of Misrepresentations
Cecil Rhodes knew the legitimate authorities in Zimbabwe. He knew that those kings and chiefs had been well informed about his intentions and that his plans to make Zimbabwe part of the British Empire would fail. Rhodes devised a plan to “divide and rule the Africans” and legitimizes the Matabele people under Lobengula and relegates the legitimate authorities of
Zimbabwe to the roles of kraal heads. Parsons (1993) states that Cecil Rhodes had
Lobengula in the Moffat Treaty purportedly signed in 1888. The irony is that
Lobengula could not read nor write. Parsons argues that the Rudd Concession was a misrepresentation, as well. None of the parties had the legal capacity to enter into contracts of any kind over Zimbabwe, the land of the Rozvi people. The whole of the Cecil John Rhodes adventure is shrouded in fraudulent misrepresentation, political chicanery, and theft of African land. The ill-fated Jameson Raid in the Transvaal is an example of Rhodes’s grandiose schemata
(Schreuder & Butler 2002).
The situation suggests that the agreement was illegal. But in English Law there are no remedies to Lobengula’s handicap since ignorance of the law is not an excuse. Mungazi (1989) argues that the royal charter also was obtained by falsifying the legal position of Lobengula as the King of Zimbabwe. Mudenge (1988) and Maclean (2002), among many others, allude to the fact that greed and the search for gold and diamonds at all costs including the use of slaves and cheap labor fueled the rise of African nationalism. Mudenge (1988) asserts that mistrust often resulted when the hosts in Mutapa’s Court could not understand European languages. The redrawing of Zimbabwe by Cecil Rhodes also indicates that he was not in consultation with
Zimbabweans at that time. Mudenge argues that the Mutapa Kingdom or Zimbabwe encompassed present day Mozambique below the Zambezi River extending to Estosha Pans in
Namibia and Botswana including Mandamabwe in Northern Transvaal, South Africa. Rhodes
carved out present day Zimbabwe short-changing himself. He left out parts of Zimbabwe that could have increased the wealth of the settlers. For example part of Northern Transvaal,
Mandamabwe; part of northern Botswana, all of Mozambique and Namibia’s Caprivi Strip were part of Zimbabwe during the 18 th
Century. The relations between the nationalists and the
European settlers continued to be of mistrust, leading to the intensification of the Chimurenga
War in 1963.
Forced migration and a series of legislation
A series of legislation were put into place between 1889 and 1951 that forced Africans to move from their birthright land to areas that were almost barren designated “African Reserves” or “African homelands” Skelcher (2003) suggests that forced removal of Africans from “Whitedesignated areas” was not unique to the world’s history. Skelcher argues that the same system had occurred in North America, Australia, New Zealand and everywhere where the English settled in advancing the British Empire.
The Lippert Concession Act 1889
The Lippert Concession Act supposed to have been signed in 1889 preceded the actual occupation of Zimbabwe in 1890 and motivated the BSAC to acquire concessions in Zimbabwe from the British government - the colonial overlord. Thus an assumption is made that the Rudd
Concession made between Lobengula on behalf of Zimbabweans and John Rudd acting as an agent of Cecil Rhodes was valid. The native population, the bona fide owners of the land received nothing from this deal.
The Native Reserves Order in Council Act 1898
The Native Reserves Order in Council created the infamous Native Reserves Act in 1898 in which black people were shepherded into reserves (much like the Europeans did in America
and Canada with the Native Americans). But Zimbabwe's Native Reserves were set up haphazardly in often low potential areas which would later become the "communal areas" of today.
Rhodesia was granted self-rule by Britain in 1923 and the new parliament hurried to pass the Land Apportionment Act, the famous legislation on separate development and land. In the meantime ordinances were approved by the board of directors of the BSAC to begin a survey of the Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland to classify land according to the following criteria:
Class 1: Very fertile and with very good rainfall, suitable only for European farms
Class 2: Containing mineral deposits which can be commercially exploited or suitable for building European settlements in the form of towns
Class 3: Not fertile with poor rainfall designated as African Purchase Farm Area
Class 4: Very infertile land, almost run down by soil erosion and in receipt of sporadic rainfall was designated as African Reserves (Cousins, 1990). This was the beginning of laws that encouraged separate economic development in Zimbabwe, the beginning of an Apartheid era and part of the main causes of the present economic crisis.
The Land Apportionment Act 1930
The Land Apportionment Act brought discontent among the Africans who were forced to leave the land of their births to make way for European farms, mining companies and towns. The
Act was similar to the Native Land Act of 1913 in South Africa. Masst (1996) found that the
African Reserves or Communal Lands were a constrained tenure system. Masst argues that the system prevented commoditized exchange of land and preserves the current pattern of smallholding .The Africans did not see it fit to purchase land which was/is technically theirs. The
two groups operated at two different wavelengths the Europeans believed that they had conquered the Africans and the Africans believed that the Europeans had no right to claim leadership of their country. Mudenge (1994) suggests that the British relegated the African kings to the role of a chief arguing that there was then only one king or queen who was in England. In order to facilitate a political trickery, Cecil John Rhodes decided to recognize the alien Matabele people as the bona fide rulers of Zimbabwe (Schapera 1960).
The Land Husbandry Act 1951
African discontent was aggravated further by the impact of the 1951 Land Husbandry
Act. It was designed to enforce taxation among the villagers, private ownership of land and purportedly improve the rural economy in the African reserves. At this time the African Reserves were over populated. The Act of 1951 was akin to the Bantu Authority Act of 1951 passed the same year in South Africa. There was escalating pressure of a growing population within fixed areas. Nyambara (2001) considers the two legislations of 1930 and 1951 as the instruments the settler governments used to create racial divisions that have existed to this day in Zimbabwe.
However, the provisions of both the 1923 and 1951 Acts violated traditional practices. In 1890
Cecil John Rhodes had recruited Christian missionaries to advance the conversion of all Africans to the Christian faith. Sinclair (1971) argues that such a strategy made it easier for the company to administer and develop the land. Making everyone subscribe to the same faith made it easier to create a mindset that viewed all things “European” as good including the creation of African reserves. The same techniques have been deployed by the ruling Zanu-PF. Using various media, the Zanu-PF propaganda sought to portray that the party was a sacred movement fulfilling prophetic oracles that the black majority would reclaim the lost land. Chitando (2002) argues that the state functionaries systematically appropriated religious ideas, with concepts from
Christianity and African traditional religions to buttress political statements. The controversial land reform program was couched in religious terms and notions like sovereignty attained mythical proportions. Chitando asserts that the appropriation of religious themes in political propaganda in Zimbabwe has not been a new idea but a strategy that has been used by the
European settlers in the creation of Rhodesia.
For example the Salvation Army missionaries were established at Howard in Chiweshe Communal Lands; the Methodists were established at Old
Mutare in Makoni and Mutasa Communal Lands. The strategy to convert the African population to Christianity was extended to all African Reserves (Gelfund 1963). The Land Husbandry Act did not expand the size of the reserves; it limited the number of cattle that could be owned by one man. It limited grazing to specified areas and provided for the de-stocking of African herds; it allowed officials to dictate patterns of cultivation and crop growing and to fix dwelling sites on farm land; it prohibited cultivating or grazing without a permit and imposed compulsory labor on unemployed Africans living on the
classified by the Land apportionment Act as barren, drought-prone and in recite of less rainfall than anywhere else in the country.
The Tribal Trustland Act 1967
The Tribal Trustland Act of 1967 (The TTLs Act) set the Tribal Trust Land Authorities with organizations such as Tribal Industrial Land Corporation (TILCOR) whose mission was to create jobs for Africans living in the tribal lands. Seke industrial complex outside Harare is an example of such a venture. The TTLs were set up under the presidency of the local chief. For example, The Seke industrial complex was supposed to be administered under the direction of
Chief Seke. The administration of the TTLs is infamous for using forced labor to create contour ridges to protect land from denigration and soil erosion. This enforcement made chiefs override nationalists’ opposition to agricultural rules and effective political solidarity.
The Unilateral Declaration of Independence
The Rhodesian Government, led by Prime Minister Ian Douglas Smith, illegally severed its links with the British Crown on November 11, 1965 by unilaterally declaring Rhodesia as an independent country. The Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) came after days of negotiations with British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. According to the address Prime
Minister Smith made to the people of Rhodesia, Smith had taken the action so that the dignity and freedom of the settler community may be assured (Smith, 2001). At that time, the Labor government, led by Prime Minister Wilson, had approved NIBMA policy (No Independence before Majority Rule) and was only prepared to permit self-rule on the basis of giving the majority population a fair share of power. Lake (1975) asserts that members of the United
Nations who had voted for economic sanctions against Rhodesia undermined the strength of their proposition by supporting the Rhodesian government indirectly. For example, British companies that had interest in Rhodesia prior to UDI continued to do business through countries such as
Portugal and the USSR, among others that had absconded from voting for the sanctions. Lake suggests that such actions undermined the credibility of the United Nations to implement successful economic sanctions.
The Republic of Rhodesia Constitution 1969
The R hodesian Front government, under the premiership of Ian Douglas Smith, drafted a completely new constitution. This further entrenched white minority rule and made the country a republic. Under this new constitution, there was a bicameral parliament consisting of an indirectly-elected Senate and a directly-elected House of Assembly in which the majority of seats were reserved for whites even more effectively than was the case under the 1961 constitution (Hartnack, 2005). The constitution amendments in 1969 enhanced the settler
community to business and farming opportunities and civic leadership opportunities for settlers in Rhodesia.
The events that led to the intensification of the Second Chimurenga War (1963-1980) are many and among them are the various land legislation that continued to marginalize Africans, the growth of Apartheid in contemporary Rhodesia and the need for democratic governance.
2.3 Pan-African nationalists perspective: Land repossession and re-distribution
The goal of either Joshua Nkomo or Robert Mugabe winning the elections in 1980 was to re-possess European farms and reverse the land tenure in a mood of revenge. The two leaders would have the same goal but operated differently. Robert Mugabe did not trust Joshua Nkomo in many respects. In 1982 Mugabe ousted Nkomo from the coalition cabinet, and ethnic strife between the Shona and the Ndebele followed. In 1984 his party adopted a new constitution aiming for the establishment of a one-party state. In 1987 Mugabe's and Nkomo's parties merged under the name of ZANU (PF) and Mugabe became the first executive president of Zimbabwe.
He was reelected in 1990, 1996, and though the results could be contested, he was re-elected in
2002. It is clear that during the 2008 elections Robert Mugabe lost to Morgan Tswangirayi of the
Southern African Development Community (SADC) which Robert Mugabe, Kenneth
Kaunda, Julius Nyerere, among others helped to found in 1985 perceives the Zimbabwean land predicament as applicable to their own situation. The SADC countries are similar in many respects. They share the same colonial legacy and have similar Anglo-Saxon and Bantu customs.
When Zimbabwe won its independence from Britain in 1980, the SADC hoped that it would be instrumental in the freedom of South Africa and Namibia. At its independence Zimbabwe was one of the top four Sub-Saharan countries to have a diversified and successful economy.
The various leaders in the SADC have viewed the dictatorship of the Zanu-PF party as essential in re-possessing and re-distribution of land in Zimbabwe. For example Sachikonye (2002) argues that the response to the crisis that has beset Zimbabwe from other African states has been to provide humanitarian assistance through the forums of Zanu-PF. Such action has consolidated the authoritarianism orchestrated by Zanu-PF party under the leadership of Robert Mugabe.
Among the African states, Zimbabwe in exile received military assistance from Ethiopia,
Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia. The perception of the leadership of these countries support land reformation in Zimbabwe under the tutorage of President Robert Mugabe.
Intervening in the Democratic Republic of the Congo conflict
The crisis continued in 1998 when the Zimbabwe National Army under the command of
Robert Mugabe as the chief of the armed forces, intervened in the civil war in Congo (Kinshasa).
He was supporting militarily President Laurent Kabila of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC). Many contest that Zimbabwe did not recover economically from this experience.
Controversial programs of land redistribution and slum clearance in the early 2000s resulted in international isolation of Mugabe and Zimbabwe's withdrawal from the Commonwealth. Amid hyperinflation and economic collapse, Mugabe seemed to try to rig the 2008 elections, leading to further condemnations of his regime. His opponent Morgan Tswangirayi, who was leading in the first round, pulled out of the runoff, citing intimidation, and Mugabe then won with 90% of the vote.
The Communal Land Act (1981)
The priority of the democratically elected government of Zimbabwe in 1980 was to address the land issue. There were thousands of landless peasant farmers, villagers who could harvest no more from a land that had been over-used and eroded in marginal rainfall areas. The
Communal Land Act was designed to change Tribal Trustlands (TTLs) into Communal Areas. It also resulted in the shift of land authority from traditional leadership such as chiefs and kraal heads to local authorities such as District Rural Councils. In turn the District Councils would be made up of people at village level referred to as the Village Development Committee (VIDCO) and at District level (DIDCO) the council would be made up of wards and each ward would have a Ward Development Committee (WADCO). Rutherford (2004) suggests that these two groups would be elected into office by the Zanu-PF and the district chairman would preside over the affairs of the district including addressing all land matters. The chiefs were sidelined unless they joined the party but would have no mandated role in the new scheme of administration.
Land reform and the resettlement program: the Land Acquisition Act (1985)
This act drawn up in the spirit of the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979 (willing seller/willing buyer principle) gave government the first right to purchase large-scale farms for resettlement of indigenous people. Largely because of financial constraints, the act had a limited impact on the resettlement program. The Land reform and resettlement programs in Zimbabwe are part of the Zanu-PF and the MDC political parties to give the Zimbabweans the land they lost during the colonial period. They may not get their original land but the argument is to re-settle families and offer Zimbabweans the opportunity to become farming entrepreneurs hoping to train and educate the budding farmers to bring productivity to sustainable levels soon.
The desire to resettle the landless by the government has not been fulfilled, largely because the government could not acquire land when and where it desired. Land owners were
either unwilling to sell or asked for double or triple the prices for their land. Because of the willing seller/willing buyer undertaking, the government could only settle 71,000 families out of a targeted 162,000 families between 1980 and 1990. Meanwhile, the level of congestion reached catastrophic levels. Political pressure for redress mounted, and in some instances, communal farmers settled themselves unilaterally and haphazardly on commercial farms bordering their areas.
Against this background, the government decided to compulsorily acquire land for resettlement using the Land Acquisition Act (Chapter 2010). The act provides for fair compensation for land acquired for resettlement purposes. The landowner has recourse to legal action if both parties are not in agreement with the price set by the acquiring authority
The Land Acquisition Act (1992)
This Act is a follow-up to the Land Acquisition Act of 1985 and is meant to allow the state to acquire more land for the resettlement of Zimbabweans who live in congested marginal rainfall areas. Implementation of this act is currently underway.
Unfair and undemocratic governances by the dictatorship of the Zanu-PF political party led by Robert Mugabe has forced major western countries to impose travel sanctions against all senior government officials (Omestad, 2009). The travel ban has also come with freezing any of the assets which any of these leaders might have in western financial institutions. Omestad
(2009) suggests that it would be premature for the U.S., the European Union (EU) and others to remove the targeted sanctions (travel bans, asset freezes) against key members of the Mugabe regime or to fully embrace the inclusive government. President Zuma of South Africa states that the removal of sanctions can help Zimbabwe to recover very fast from its economic crisis (Sapa,
2009). President Zuma suggests that the success of Zimbabwe is going to hinge on the members of the SADC working and collaborating with the MDC and Zanu-PF parties to make the new government a reality (Sapa 2009). It is important though to receive all the support but the MDC and Zanu-PF must work it out among themselves to help make the reform process irreversible.
This presentation suggests the following team building steps can be adapted to support the amalgamation process:
A joint team made up of the MDC and Zanu-PF in tandem with the Global Political
Agreement (GPA) should be made to help the international donor community in identifying priorities.
Donors should pursue a strategy that covers the priority areas identified by the coalition team.
Food, health and water for the under five population should be part of the priorities in the government’s Short Term Emergency Recovery Program (STERP),
Revival of the education, health and water sanitation sectors, should also be part of the priorities
Designing and implementation of an effective civil service and the re-construction of basic infrastructure should be treated as a post-conflict priority.
The SADC countries, most significantly South Africa, should also provide more direct assistance to Zimbabwe in many respects. For example, there is need for help in the repatriation of Zimbabweans living in South Africa. The same could apply to Britain,
Australia, USA and others in the Diaspora.
The private sector organizations that need assistance in re-building their business should also receive aid.
Support is also needed for programs to reform politicized legal institutions, including the judiciary, and strengthen civil society that has been deeply fractured in recent years, including religious, press, labor, academic, women’s and youth groups.
A strategy is needed to retire virtually all members of the senior Zanu-PF leadership.
Persuading them to go peacefully will not be easy the officials fear the post-Mugabe era.
The government could create leverage with a law that offers immunity to senior officials from domestic prosecution for past political crimes (excluding crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide) in return for retirement.
The U.S., EU and others could increase economic aid if the coalition is working as time goes on. In accordance with their laws, they could improve the deal by removing targeted sanctions on those who accept and comply. The intense internal struggle to control Zanu-PF after
Mugabe goes has led one faction (that of the husband-wife power team of Vice President Joyce
Mujuru and ex-general, now businessman, Solomon “Rex” Mujuru) to explore cooperation with the Tswangirayi faction of the MDC (MDC-T). The smaller MDC faction led by Arthur
Mutambara (MDC-M) was used by ZANU-PF in its attempt to manipulate the SADC negotiations but now increasingly sees its political survival, beyond the term of the inclusive government, as dependent on brokering parliamentary compromises and moving closer to the
Zimbabwe was hit by drought last year causing nationwide food shortages, exacerbated by the rising HIV-AIDS infections; a reported outbreak of cholera once thought to have been eradicated and other communicable diseases such as malaria; and massive unemployment and galloping inflation, causing the worst humanitarian crisis since independence. The Human
Development Report show that 83% of the population is living on less than US2. 00 a day, there are more than 880 000 people who have been displaced from their homes and that the life expectancy figures have dropped drastically to 43 years for women and 44 years for men.
Zanu-PF Lost control of parliament
For the first time, ZANU-PF lost control of parliament to the opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC). Results of the all-important presidential elections – withheld for over a month – gave MDC leader Morgan Tswangirayi 47.9% against 43.2% for Mugabe, warranting a run-off. The resurgent Tswangirayi claimed outright victory over the 84-year old president but indicated he would contest an internationally supervised second round. CNN
(2008) reports that although gravely weakened, Robert Mugabe and his hard-line supporters showed few signs of accepting defeat and launched a countrywide campaign of violence and intimidation. This led the MDC to walk-out in the re-run elections giving Zanu-PF and Mugabe an outright win in March 2008.
After nearly a year of seemingly endless talks brokered by the Southern African
Development Community (SADC), Zimbabwe’s long-ruling ZANU-PF party and the two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formed a coalition government in February (Britannica 2009). Opposition entry into a Zanu-PF government is unheard of and a remarkable achievement and many people both African and European
Zimbabweans are optimistic for the first time in years that a decade of repression and decline can
be reversed. There is considerable international skepticism whether the flawed arrangement can succeed; many are tempted, with some reason, to second-guess the decision of mainstream MDC leader Morgan Tswangirayi to accept the deal under SADC and ZANU-PF pressure. Ngwenya
(2008) suggests that Tswangirayi had no good alternative given a collapsed economy and humanitarian catastrophe from which his constituency was suffering, he just had to accept.
Donors should re-engage to do what they know best and provide the much needed food water and medicine aid.
The long talks over implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by
ZANU-PF and the MDC on 15 September 2008 gave few signs that President Robert Mugabe genuinely accepts the need for political and economic reforms and national reconciliation. He has described the new inclusive government as a temporary one in which ZANU-PF remains in full control. By contrast, Tswangirayi sees it as a transitional process that can stabilize the country, leading to elections under a new constitution in two years. In effect, the deal has established two power centers and left the ZANU-PF establishment ample opportunities to block or undermine reforms.
Some old Zanu-PF elements appear to cause the new government to fail, out of fear of prosecution for such war crimes as
in which more than 20 000
Matabele people lost their lives in a tribal witch-hunt by the Zimbabwean National Army under the orders of the then Prime Minister Robert Mugabe (Catholic Commission for Justice and
Peace 1997). Zanu-PF is afraid of losing power and government as a source of income.
Dumbutshena (2008) suggests that the hatred for Morgan Tswangirayi or the MDC is a genuine
belief that they are the guardians of the country’s liberation. This was also illustrated in a dire effort to recover the lost parliamentary elections of March 29, 2008. Dumbutshena asserts that the Zanu-PF seeks to destroy the MDC structures and wrest control of the House of Assembly by getting the support of the Mutambara MDC faction.
Thus the Zanu-PF in government is continuing to provoke and frustrate the MDC, as shown by such actions as continuing arrests and detention of MDC activists and refusal of police to carry out some government orders. At the recent funeral of Vice President Msika, President
Mugabe found an opportunity to politic. Instead of the occasion being solemn, President Mugabe seized the opportunity to mollify public misgivings of his corrupt government by proffering a splendid profile of Joseph Msika. The 84 year old President Mugabe grabbed the momentous event to portray his gallantry in the Second Chimurenga (1963-1980) and became the center of attraction, not the dead man (Nyarota, August 20, 2009).
Efforts to drive out the last few hundred white farmers by continued farm invasions and stalling on the appointment of provincial governors as well as reconfiguration of ministerial powers appears to be fruitful when a senior Zanu-PF Politburo member Nathan Shamuyarira is accused of having invaded and repossessed a European owned mango farm outside the town of
Chegutu (Zimtimes September 11, 2009). There is food shortage because the re-possessed land is no longer under effective farm management control. The people who have been re-settled require intensive agronomy skills training, and farm management education.
There are at the same time signs that a more constructive political dynamic is developing, including within the parliament, the one institution with some democratic legitimacy and where cross-party collaboration will be needed to pass major reform legislation. Also, while the
humanitarian and economic situations remain dire, there have been some signs of improvement: many schools have re-opened, prices have stabilized, basic stocks are returning to shops and civil servants are being paid at least a modest stipend. As a result, Tsvangirayi’s political credibility is rising. The modest income is also required by the rest of the people to be able to afford the food which is now available in the shops but priced in US or South African currency.
Lastly President Mugabe has changed directions drastically. When he met the European
Union delegates in Zimbabwe on 09/20/2009 he said that “I welcome you to Zimbabwe with open arms” This was the first visit of the European Union delegation in the past 7 years. The delegation stated that it was not going to remove sanctions until signs of greater reform suffice
There are a number of proven change management methods and systems that can make it possible to revive the economy of Zimbabwe at an accelerated rate. For example, Organization
Development methods and technology have appropriate interventions to effectively coordinate activities of a number of people for the achievement of some common explicit purpose (Mupepi et al (2007). This presentation suggests
institutional capacity building
as some of the possible methods that can be deployed to re-construct the economy of
Zimbabwe at an accelerated rate. The Government of Unity has excelled in effective international relations by raising the interest and support of donors.
Prime Minister Morgan Tswangirayi told industry leaders and delegates to an investment conference in Harare that Zimbabwe's mining sector could yield up to $16 billion (R118 billion) if the government could create the right climate for foreign investment. Sharing the forum of
speakers at the same conference, Niels Kriestensen the head of Rio Tinto’s diamond unit told delegates that the country would not see new investment unless uncertainty over a mining law and fiscal policy were resolved (Zimnews, 2009).
The Finance Minister Tendai Biti as part of the MDC strategy made plans to simplify taxes to attract investment, cut debt and restore the public’s confidence. The use of Zimbabwe's currency will be resumed when the volume of annual exports doubles. Latham & Squazzin
(2008) argue that Zimbabwe will need to restore annual exports to between USD 3-5 billion, a level last seen in about 1996. “We need to tackle our debt before we can restore our own currency. The challenge for us is to broaden our tax base and to simplify it. Our thinking generally is to move to a flat rate of tax” (2008:1) Finance Minister Biti said. Latham &
Squazzin assert that according to a Reserve Bank Report exports totaled USD 1.52 billion in
2007. Such productivity levels have been achieved in the past and it is that capacity that needs to be restored.
Democracy is a system of government that allows all citizens to participate in the governance of their country by electing officials to represent them in parliament, congress or senate. Democracy as a system of government has four key elements:
A political system for choosing and replacing the government through Free and
2. The active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life.
3. Protection of the human rights of all citizens.
4. A rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens.
Capacity Building methods and practice
Capacity building is a term that is used in International Development to refer to the processes and interventions that are used to strengthen the ability of developing communities to address a myriad of problems such as poverty or health. The coalition government can be assisted to build the capacity to revive the agriculture industry so that Zimbabweans can feed themselves. It should re-build the mining and manufacturing industries so that the country can earn the foreign currency to immediately put the health care industry on its feet again. Medicines, technology and expertise not available in Zimbabwe can be acquired externally using foreign exchange.
Capacity building aims at providing the knowledge, skills and conceptual tools that enhance a country’s ability to:
Advance research that pinpoints at the exact development needs its citizens
Contribute to effective economic development programs
Influence social change and the standard of life
Illustrate how democratic governance can impact a nation’s ability to advance economically
Enable an understanding of successful change in the reconstruction of Zimbabwe.
Institutional capacity building can be a planned coordination of the activities of a number of institutions to enable them to build the skills and expertise needed to formulate and implement economic policy that can advance the national economy.
Research can be conducted to determine how democracy can be implemented in
Zimbabwe. This might entail nationwide citizenship education and training and the use of mass media to distribute and diffuse the right thinking. One-man one-vote has been in Africa for a long time and it can certainly be advanced in Zimbabwe.
Capacity building methods and techniques are many and can be drawn from proven
American methods of change management and techniques of making organizations effective. In
Zimbabwe the approach to organization development will vary according to the types of organizations that need to change, what needs to be changed and who will be impacted by the change.
In the past Zimbabwe has been the main source of food supplies in Sub-Saharan Africa. It had the edge on agriculture output. Research leading to how such competitive advantages can be re-captured is of paramount importance in the re-construction equation.
The prime farmland has been re-distributed to Zimbabwean citizens as a way to address the land needs of most rural families who were impoverished in the over-grazed and -populated communal areas. The second objective of land re-distribution is to reduce poverty and disease by allowing re-settled families grow food to sustain themselves and selling the surplus food for cash. As a way of planning the way forward it is important to know the numbers of those who are qualified and experienced to manage a commercial farm. How many of the re-settled citizens have the capital required in a commercial farm?
What are the competencies required to manage a commercial farm, a small agro-based business?
What is the commercial banking policy in extending credit to such business ventures?
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