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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 SixMugabeism as Nationalism 233


Chapter Six Mugabeism as Nationalism Mugabeism is a pan-African revolutionary philosophy, the final onslaught on imperialism on the continent, and for Africans to use war against the imperialists. This is African revolution, the Third Chimurenga, another name for pan-African nationalism. … Revolutionaries see and equate President Mugabe’s anti-imperialist creed with something that sounds like a ‘hold on a minute comrades, the coffin lid is still open so let’s have another look around, storm back and put things right’. Chinondidya-chii Mararike1 Over the years, people – black and white, high and low – have struggled to make sense of Robert Gabriel Mugabe. Andrew Norman2 Mugabeism has existed since the post-independence era when Africa’s big men were at the helm of power. The Mugabeism of the first genera- tion of African leaders is however understandable given that one-party system of government encouraged it. With the advent of democracy in Africa in the 1990s, one would not have expected brutal autocratic regimes to rear their ugly heads again in Africa. We should be dead worried about what is happening in Zimbabwe. Tchaka Ndhlovu3 1 C. Mararike, ‘Africa Should Fight, Defeat Imperialism’, in http://www.mail-archive. com/ 2 A. Norman, Mugabe: Teacher, Revolutionary, Tyrant (Gloucestershire: History Press, 2008), p. 161. 3 T. Ndhlovu, ‘Zimbabwe: Why African Leaders Are Silent?’, The Africa Executive Magazine in php?article=2208. 234 Chapter Six It is the idea of the impurity of Mugabe that haunts much of contem- porary Zimbabwean history. He has never apologised for the...

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