Zimbabweans, just like many other Africans, may be described as ‘voters” but not yet ‘citizens” (Bratton & Logan.2006). Mahmood Mamdani’s (Mamdani. 1996) classic thesis about citizens and subjects in late colonialism seems to have no greater application than to Zimbabwe, a country in which the voice of the citizen has been largely non-existent since the colonisation in 1897. The idea that citizens are at the heart of the state has never been a central notion for the state in either Rhodesia or Zimbabwe.
It i evident that Zimbabwe has a very large population of young people. The 2012 Census reports that 76% of Zimbabwe's population is under the age of 35 years, giving Zimbabwe an enormous "youth bulge". Youth bulges can be sources of increased economic prosperity, as in China for example, or soureces of instability as has been argued by a number of authorities.
It is a conventional position that the middle-classes are the staunchest defenders of democracy, but recent research in Zimbabwe suggests that this is not the case in Zimbabwe.
Since the middle class is conventionally seen as the major defenders of liberal democracy, their role in Zimbabwe is worth understanding, but a recent study suggested that this might not be the case (RAU. 2015).
This is the first in a series of papers on Proportional Representation (PR) and the quota system in Zimbabwe, and a follow up on an initial paper published by RAU(Matyszak. 2013) on the confusion about Proportional Representation. Whilst RAU recognises that citizen participation is generally the key to holding duty bearers accountable, it also acknowledges the integral role of women and youth, despite the fact that their voices continue to be marginalised.
This paper takes a preliminary look at middle-class young women under 35, to ascertain their views of politics in Zimbabwe today. These are educated and professional women holding jobs in the corporate sector, civil society or running their own businesses. They have strong opinions on politics and at the same time are cautious in engaging in active politics even though they have the financial means, the educational backing and the skills to do so.
On May 10, 2016, Parliament interviewed 23 candidates battling it out for 6 positions on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. The interviewing panel appointed by Parliament’s Standing Rules and Order committee interviewed prospective commissioners that included former ZEC commissioners, academics, lawyers, educationists and a member of the clergy.
In this piece - Research and Advocacy Unit senior researcher Derek Matyszak provides readers with an insightful analysis of the process.
Violence has been woven through the intricate fabric of Zimbabwe’s political history in various forms which include murder, beatings, rape, death threats, abductions, arbitrary arrests, torture, forced displacement, property damage, harassment, intimidation and terrorisation. It has been used as the weapon of choice by the governments in power since the declaration of UDI in 1966 through to post Independent Zimbabwe as a measure to ensure retention of power at all costs.
For two long years, South Africans have been waiting to see whether the findings of the Public Protector’s report on the expenditure at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence would be upheld by the courts.
In this analysis, Tony Reeler examines why this decision is particularly poignant for Zimbabwe and more importantly, to see the virtue of a country not only having courts robust enough to deal with the executive, but to also appreciate how the principle of constitutionalism was defended so strongly.
On the 19th March, 2016 Minister Zhuwao announced that the Indigenisation Levy which he had proposed in a Government Notice of the 8th January, 2016 was now "off the table" and that firms would be required to comply "with the law" before the 1st April, 2016 or "stop operating". The Government Notice, the “Framework, Procedures and Guidelines for Implementing the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act” was extensively analysed by RAU in an article entitled Chaos Clarified, posted on this website.