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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dissident Perspectives on Zimbabwe's Post-Independence War
Author:Alexander, JocelynISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161277
Abstract:A much neglected perspective on Zimbabwe's postindependence war is that held by its insurgents, the so-called dissidents. On the basis of interviews with former dissidents, all of whom had fought in ZAPU's armed wing, ZIPRA, in the liberation war of the 1970s, the present author explores their motives, goals and organization; the hows-and-whys of their turn to violence after 1980. She shows that the dissidents' return to arms was primarily a result of distrust within and then repression by the newly formed Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA). She argues that dissidents had neither political leaders nor political support but that the majority nonetheless maintained their loyalty to ZAPU and tenaciously clung to their liberation war identity as ZIPRA guerrillas, thereby helping to contain South Africa's destabilization efforts. In the vacuum of both leadership and political ideology, interaction with regional shrines proved important to dissidents and, after the war, would remain one of the few avenues for seeking to call national political leaders to account and easing reintegration into communities. Though the dissidents' perspective is unique in many ways, the stress on the unresolved wrongs of the 1980s - developmental neglect, the lack of restitution for losses - finds a much wider resonance within Matabeleland as a whole. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.