'Echoing silences': ethnicity in post-colonial Zimbabwe, 1980-2007

SOURCE: African Journal on Conflict Resolution
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2007
TITLE AUTHOR(S): J.Muzondidya, S.Ndlovu-Gatsheni
KEYWORDS: AFRICA, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, ETHNICITY, PEACEKEEPING, ZIMBABWE
DEPARTMENT: Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery (DGSD)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 5145

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Abstract

In spite of its rare entry into both official and public discourses about contemporary Zimbabwe, ethnicity, alongside race, has continued to shape and influence the economic, social, and political life of Zimbabwe since the achievement of independence in 1980. In this article we argue that whilst post-independence Zimbabwe has since the days of the Gukurahundi war (1982-1986) not experienced serious ethnic-based wars or political instability, there is serious ethnic polarisation in the country and ethnicity remains one of the challenges to the survival of both the state and the country. This ethnic polarisation is to be explained mainly in terms of the broader failure by the state to develop an effective response to the political economy of ethnicity inherited from the colonial past.