n Latin American Report - Becoming Zimbabwe : a critique - 'The crisis in Zimbabwe, 1998-2008'

Volume 26, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-6060



The critique acknowledges the magnificent effort of the University of Zimbabwe affiliated academics in putting together Becoming Zimbabwe. It then moves on to give a linguistic appraisal of the title, the picture on the front cover and the blurb as a preamble to a brief appreciation of the last chapter 'The crisis in Zimbabwe, 1998-2008'. The article argues that whilst it is within the democratic rights of all Zimbabweans to vociferously agitate for the Western-fashioned democratic governance, there is the unforeseen danger of them throwing away the baby with the bath water. A careful examination of the bedrock of the real crisis points at the failure to overhaul the anti-African system of governance at the attainment of political independence in 1980. The delay in dealing with the land redistribution issue for example, ensured that the colonially-entrenched institutions would compel the new holders of political power to guarantee the status quo of white economic socialism. The article recommends that the Zimbabwean historians must not divest economic rights from political rights. These two rights are not only intertwined, but they also form the core of all other rights that people are entitled to. These are the rights that the Zimbabwean historians and the perennially marginalised people must fight for and safeguard. The real crisis bedevilling Zimbabwean interpretations of history are the politicians and academics self-serving perceptions of what democratic governance means.

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