n African Security Review - The prisoners of hope : civil society and the opposition in Zimbabwe : feature

Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1024-6029
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There are many debates as to what constitutes the essence of our African humanity and, indeed, Zimbabwean-ness. The country has had a difficult but illustrious history characterised by turmoil and tenacity, chaos and courage, corruption and compassion. Zambia's Kenneth Kaunda once described forgiveness as "a constant willingness to live in a new day". In this article I intend to demonstrate why there has not been any revolt in Zimbabwe, despite unparalleled repression. Perhaps it is the ingrained capacity of Zimbabweans to constantly hope for a new day that has made us prisoners of hope. I wish to focus my comments on the effect the ZANU-PF's authoritarian regime has had on political opposition in Zimbabwe, on the architecture of civil society, and in particular on the role of civil society organisations. A particular area of concern is the threat to their functioning posed by the new NGO Bill.

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