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Do ‘Zimbabweans’ Exist?

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

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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 SevenEndgame or Elite Transition? 299

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Chapter Seven Endgame or Elite Transition? Beyond the political agreement and adoption of collective plan of action, we need to execute a programme of national healing and rehabilitation of our people. This cannot be done in two weeks. What happened in our country in the past four months has traumatised our citizens. Our people have been brutalised and dehumanised. The culture and practice of our country’s politics have been taken back twenty years. Arthur Mutambara1 This country has gone through a lot of traumatic experiences. What we have to accept is that in order to heal, there must be justice, and in order to have justice, there must be truth. That is the only way which can help us move forward as a nation. Unless the truth is told, there cannot be healing and reconciliation. Morgan Tsvangirai2 If all political players were to accept that it is the sovereign right of the people to freely elect a government of their choice no matter how we may disagree with their judgement. Even if we fiercely believe that it is a wrong judgement we must accept it as their sovereign choice. If the political parties were to embrace that principle that the will of the people is sovereign … in my view that is the problem that faces the country at the moment – the refusal by the major political players that people can make a judgement, which is different from theirs. For as long 1 A. G. Mutambara, ‘Thinking Beyond the Political Settlement’,...

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