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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contradictory constructions of the crisis in Zimbabwe
Author:Freeman, LindaISNI
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:political conflicts
land reform
Abstract:A striking aspect of the Zimbabwean crisis has been the struggle over its meaning within Zimbabwe, Africa and the wider world. The discussion has reopened questions about the legacy of the liberation struggle for contemporary politics and the issues of its 'unfinished business', especially in the continuing racial imbalance in land ownership in southern Africa. A second issue has been the question of democracy in Zimbabwe and the State's legitimacy given contested results in a series of elections (in 2000, 2002 and 2005) and the closing of space for opposition forces between, as well as within elections. A third important area of debate is over the significance of global pressures in creating the crisis. At least two major approaches have emerged: one supportive of the actions of the Zimbabwean government and the other opposed to it. For one section of opinion, the key issue in understanding Zimbabwe's troubles is the refusal of forces within and without Zimbabwe to accept the radical reform which has resulted in the transfer of commercial farmland from white to African farmers. A central proposition of the opposing view is that the current crisis is less about finishing the tasks of the liberation struggle through land reform, than a reaction by the current government in Zimbabwe to the most serious challenge to its power since independence. This study assesses the merits of the debate. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans. [Journal abstract]