n AFFRIKA Journal of Politics, Economics and Society - The tyranny of the executive-military alliance and competitive authoritarianism in Zimbabwe

Volume 5, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 1998-4936
  • E-ISSN: 2075-6534


This contribution seeks to interrogate the rise of competitive authoritarianism which appears to be the defining feature of the electoral history of Zimbabwe. Since 1980 Zimbabwe has witnessed ceremonial processions to the polls with those elections translating neither to democratic transition nor consolidation. Instead, the ruling party Zimbabwe African National Unity- Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has perfected the art of electoral alchemy undergirded by the executive-military alliance. Within this context, the military is perennially used as a counterweight against the influence of the oppositional political society. Bluntly put, Zimbabwe is an archetype of a militarised competitive authoritarian regime that deploys the Chimurenga ideology underpinned by Gukurahundi strategy to remain in power regardless of the voters' verdict. The paper concludes by suggesting alternative approaches towards cracking the competitive authoritarian gridlock in the post-2013 period.

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