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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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Chapter FourA Nation within a Nation 149


Chapter Four A Nation within a Nation? Zimbabwe is one entity and shall never be separated into different enti- ties. It’s impossible. I am saying this because there are some people who are saying let’s do what Lesotho did. There is no Lesotho here. There is one Zimbabwe and one Zimbabwe only. Robert Mugabe1 We totally agree with you when you say that ‘Blair keep your Eng- land and we shall keep our Zimbabwe.’ But we go further to say: ‘Mugabe Keep your Zimbabwe (Mashonaland) and we shall keep our Matabeleland.’ Proclamation of Umhlahlo WeSizwe SikaMthwakazi2 I am finding it necessary to organise on proper lines the complete mili- tary structure of ZAPU, which will henceforth come under my direct control and I will be appointing new Secretaries and new departments. All the senior officers will be of the Mashona tribes, that is to say Vaze- zuru, Vamanyika, and Vakaranga people only. The ZAPU organisation has been completely riddled by traitors from Matabeleland since we were compelled to leave Zimbabwe as refugees, and no progress at all has been made on the liberation of Zimbabwe, so we must con- stantly remember that our duty is now to Mashona. … Amandebele … are still showing themselves to be our pure enemies. I am appointing myself as Commander-in-Chief of ZAPU Military Council and we 1 The Sunday Mail, 20 November 2005. 2 Umhlahlo WeSizwe SikaMthwakazi is a cultural-political organisation formed by disgruntled politicians and civic leaders to champion the cause of the people of...

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