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Do ‘Zimbabweans’ Exist?

Trajectories of Nationalism, National Identity Formation and Crisis in a Postcolonial State


Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni

This book examines the triumphs and tribulations of the Zimbabwean national project, providing a radical and critical analysis of the fossilisation of Zimbabwean nationalism against the wider context of African nationalism in general. The book departs radically from the common ‘praise-texts’ in seriously engaging with the darker aspects of nationalism, including its failure to create the nation-as-people, and to install democracy and a culture of human rights. The author examines how the various people inhabiting the lands between the Limpopo and Zambezi Rivers entered history and how violence became a central aspect of the national project of organising Zimbabweans into a collectivity in pursuit of a political end.


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List of Abbreviations xi


Abbreviations ADP Antisocial (or Dissocial) Personality Disorder AFZ Air Force of Zimbabwe ANC African National Congress ANC African National Council ANC-Z African National Council-Zimbabwe APs Assembly Points APRM African Peer Review Mechanism AU African Union AUBS African Universal Benefit Society BSAC British South Africa Company CCJP Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace CIO Central Intelligence Organisation CYL City Youth League DAs District Assistants DRC Democratic Republic of Congo ESAP Economic Structural Adjustment Programme FROLIZI Front for the Liberation of Zimbabwe FTLRP Fast-Track Land Reform Programme GNU Government of National Unity GPA Global Political Agreement ICU Industrial and Commercial Union IMF International Monetary Fund JOC Joint Operations Command JOMIC Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee KCS Kalanga Cultural Society LRF Legal Resources Foundation MBS Manyika Burial Society MBS Malubale Burial Society MDC Movement for Democratic Change xii Abbreviations MDC-M Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara MDC-T Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai DMDBS Dotito Mount Darwin Burial Society MDS Matabeleland Development Society MHS Matabele Home Society MMD Movement for Multiparty Democracy MOS Monomotapa Offspring Society MOU Memorandum of Understanding MPC Mthwakazi People’s Congress MRBS Mhondoro Reserve Burial Society MUBS Mashonaland United Burial Society NAM Non-Aligned Movement NCA National Constitutional Assembly NDP National Democratic Party NDR National Democratic Revolution NEPAD New Partnership for African Development PAP Pan-African Parliament PF-ZAPU Patriotic Front-Zimbabwe African National Union SADC Southern African Development Community SMHS Sons of Mzilikazi Home Society SRANC Southern Rhodesia African National Congress SRBVA Southern Rhodesia Bantu Voter’s Association TINA There Is No Alternative UANC United African National Council...

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