n African Security Review - The basis for the security dilemma in which the political elite finds itself : Zimbabwe's Zezuru sum game : essay

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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Reflecting on the crisis in Zimbabwe, one is immediately struck by the preoccupation of most commentators with President Robert Mugabe and the land reform programme. Many have touted the confluence of these two issues as the main drivers of that country's political, economic and humanitarian woes. This particular perspective, which is most dominant in the media, has captured popular attention. However, while these two factors are certainly important to understanding the current problems faced by Zimbabwe, little room has been left for the consideration of a number of underlying dynamics that have also contributed to the current stalemate. This omission encourages the perpetuation of myths and rumour, and leads to serious miscalculations in the various transition scenarios that have been mooted. One of the dynamics that has been largely omitted from the debate is the critical role played by what we have chosen to term the 'security dilemma' faced by Zimbabwe's elite. <br>This essay will also present Zimbabwe's political crisis as the result of attempts by the ruling elite to block the transition to enhanced democracy. Also central to the article is a conceptual framework that explains how this powerful group has responded to the threat implicit in political transformation, and how the dominant nationalist ideology represented by the Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) (ZANU-PF) has fed into this dynamic.

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