n Journal for Contemporary History - Student activism in a time of crisis - Zimbabwe 2000-2010 : a tentative exploration




The article examines student activism in Zimbabwe between 2000 and 2010 to investigate how Zimbabwe's economic meltdown and political challenges influenced the nature and forms of student responses. While conceding that student activism was not as well-coordinated and as unified as it had been in earlier periods of Zimbabwean history, it argues that student activism, nevertheless, continued despite relentless efforts by state agencies to violently stifle student protests and also in spite of the debilitating economic problems confronting the students. It is argued that the lack of unity among students can be explained in part by the lack of consensus among students regarding the challenges facing them and how to resolve them. It can also be seen as a result of the fact that students belonged to different and, sometimes, antagonistic political parties resulting in a fractured student movement that could not speak with one voice. Finally, the article contends that despite facing serious economic hardships, which partly fuelled their discontent, students did not focus only on economic grievances but married these to wider socio-political issues and regarded their struggles as part and parcel of the national fight for good governance and democracy.


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