RAU Formal structures of power in rural Zim


By Derek Matyszak,

Research and Advocacy Unit, Harare

In February, 2000 ZANU PF’s first ever loss at the polls in a nationwide referendum on a new constitution precipitated a political crisis, which has continued to the present. The most alarming aspect of this loss for ZANU PF was that it was apparent that many rural voters, on whom ZANU PF could usually rely, had withdrawn support. A significant proportion of these voters were perceived by ZANU PF to be farm labourers in thrall to their white commercial farmer employers. With a general election pending in June of that year, ZANU PF moved swiftly to re-establish complete control over the country side. Under the guise of land reform, white commercial farms were invaded, farm workers killed, beaten, raped and displaced, and militia bases established on the occupied land. These bases were used as the spring board for a reign of terror in the countryside……

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