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Archive for the ‘Zimbabwe’ Category

Launch of Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa by Roger Southall


Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern AfricaUniversity of KwaZulu-Natal Press and the University of the Witwatersrand cordially invite you to the launch of Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa by Roger Southall.

Southall will be in conversation with Professor Noor Nieftagodien and Dr Dale McKinley on Thursday 8 August at 5:30 PM for 6 PM.

Don’t miss it!

Event Details

  • Date: Thursday, 08 August 2013
  • Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
  • Venue: Wits Faculty of Humanities,
    East Campus
    South West Engineering Building
    Ground Floor – Atrium | Map
  • Guest Speakers: Noor Nieftagodien and Dale McKinley
  • RSVP: 033 260 5226 elliots@ukzn.ac.za

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Introducing Roger Southall’s Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa

Liberation Movements in PowerNew from UKZN Press, Liberation Movements in Power: Party and State in Southern Africa by Roger Southall:

The liberation movements of Southern Africa arose to combat racism, colonialism and settler capitalism and engaged in armed struggle to establish democracy. After victory over colonial and white minority regimes, they moved into government embodying the hopes and aspirations of their mass of supporters and of widespread international solidarity movements. Even with the difficult legacies they inherited, their performance in power has been deeply disappointing.

Roger Southall tracks the experiences in government of ZANU-PF, SWAPO and the ANC, arguing that such movements are characterised by paradoxical qualities, both emancipatory and authoritarian. Analysis is offered of their evolution into political machines through comparative review of their electoral performance, their relation to state and society, their policies regarding economic transformation, and their evolution as vehicles of class formation and predatory behaviour.

The author concludes that, while they will survive organizationally, their essence as progressive forces is dying, and that hopes of a genuine liberation throughout the region will depend upon political realignments alongside moral and intellectual regeneration.

About the author

Roger Southall is Professor Emeritus in Sociology, University of the Witwatersrand and a Research Associate of the Society, Work and Development Institute.

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Excerpt from Polarization and Transformation in Zimbabwe by Erin McCandless

Polarization and Transformation in ZimbabweUKZN Press has shared an excerpt from Polarization and Transformation in Zimbabwe: The Counter-Movement for Land Redistribution and Constitutional Change by Erin McCandless. In the excerpt polarization in Zimbabwe is broken down into a few concepts and the aims of the book are discussed.

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Sean Christie Interviews John Eppel About the Changing Reactions to His Work

TogetherSean Christie from the Mail & Guardian visited John Eppel at his home in Bulawayo. They discussed the changing reactions towards Eppel’s satire, which has been resonating with younger Zimbabwean writers.

Christie suggests that this may be partially because “the targets of Eppel’s satire — Zimbabwe’s rapacious ruling elite — had become such living grotesques that Eppel’s caricatures could not have failed to resonate widely”.

Given the exotic flowers in his oeuvre, especially in the poems, it is surprising to find John Eppel’s garden in the crackle-dry suburb of Hillside, Bulawayo, dominated by the indigenous Portulaca hereroensis. This fast-growing fleshy plant has all but devoured the property’s steel strand perimeter fence, and seems bent on taking Eppel’s ramshackle (his word) home too.

That’s a mild exaggeration. The effect of the portulaca is more insulation than threat — protection from the outside world. And one soon learns not to make light of botanical matters in Eppel’s company. The 65-year-old writer was in his kitchen breaking a chocolate bar into a bowl when I brought up a controversial new book on white identity in Zimbabwe by the American anthropologist David Hughes.

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The Scope for Health Care Reform Examined in Universal Health in Southern Africa

Universal Health in Southern AfricaUniversal Health in Southern Africa examines the scope for health care reform in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Both countries are undergoing significant attempts at reforming inequitable, private sector-dominated health care systems in the context of fragile, negotiated social settlements.

In South Africa, the government is moving towards introducing a national health insurance scheme that holds the historic promise of introducing social solidarity and effective health care for all its citizens. However, key aspects of the proposed scheme remain unresolved and need to be widely debated. In Zimbabwe, mandatory national health insurance has been discussed for decades without any conclusion being reached or a system implemented. This option needs to be revisited as the economy stabilises and confidence in governance improves.

Based on extensive research, the contributors to this volume examine health care reform in historical context, analyse the views of key stakeholders and reflect on current proposals for better health financing and more people-centred health systems based on the principles of universality and social solidarity.

Universal Health in Southern Africa is essential reading for academics, health professionals and policy makers concerned with the historical, ideological and institutional background to the current policy debate on the commercialisation of health care and proposed alternatives such as a national health system.

About the editors

Greg Ruiters is professor of governance and public policy at the University of the Western Cape and co-director of the Municipal Services Project.

Robert van Niekerk is professor of social policy and director of the Institute of Social and Economic Research at Rhodes University.

Contributors: Yoswa M Dambisya • Shorai Jasi • Rene Loewenson • Aulline Mabika • Rangarirai Machemedze • Di McIntyre • Sehlapelo Irene Mokgoatsane • Elijah Munyuki • Shepherd Shamu

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First Anniversary of Julius Chingono’s Death Commemorated

Together2 January 2012 marked the first anniversary of the death of Julius Chingono, co-author of the short story collection Together. On 9 February 2012, the Embassy of Spain in Zimbabwe hosted an event to pay homage to this courageous writer, who was detained in 2009 for reciting his poem “My Uniform”, about corruption in the police force. The Spanish Ambassador, Pilar Fuertes Ferragut, was a personal friend of Chingono and felt that he needed to be honoured in this way. The Financial Gazette reported on the event:

THE Embassy of Spain yesterday hosted an event to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of one of Zimbabwe’s great poets, Julius Chingono.

The event, held in the Theatre in the Park in the Harare Gardens, was attended by family and friends of the late author and dignitaries from a cross-section of the Zimba-bwean society and other invited guests.

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Erin McCandless Examines Transformation and Development in Zimbabwe

Polarization and Transformation in ZimbabweThe Solidarity Peace Trust invites you to read a short paper by peacebuilding and development specialist Erin McCandless in which she presents some of the findings revealed in her recently published book, Polarization and Transformation in Zimbabwe: The Counter-Movement for Land Redistribution and Constitutional Change:

It is common and understandable for people living in divided or developing countries to tire of international researchers coming to examine their plight, observing their situation from particular disciplinary and/or experiential lenses, often rapidly assessing the situation after a short period in the country and after speaking with a limited number of people. They often don’t share the fruits of their labour with the society that hosted them.

Having lived in Zimbabwe (January 2001-June 2004) where I conducted my doctoral field research, followed by numerous trips back to the region in the years that have followed, I am finally publishing a book. I am guilty of taking a long time in sharing findings; like most doctoral students, I had to make a living in the interim and the book was put on the back burner. But my belief in the importance of these issues that drove my research ensured that I kept coming back to Zimbabwe.[1] In this short paper I want to present some of the findings of my forthcoming book – Polarization and Transformation: Social Movements, Strategy Dilemmas and Change. I also want to share my motives and assumptions that drove the research, and my thoughts on why I think Zimbabwe’s challenges matter greatly to a larger international audience, beyond the powerful forces focused on regime change.

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Erin McCandless Investigates Political Dilemmas in Polarization and Transformation in Zimbabwe

Polarization and Transformation in ZimbabweUKZN Press is proud to announce the publication of a new title, Polarization and Transformation in Zimbabwe: The Counter-Movement for Land Redistribution and Constitutional Change by Erin McCandless:

Social movements and civic organizations often face profound strategy dilemmas that can hamper their effectiveness and prevent them from contributing to transformative change and peace. In Zimbabwe two particular dilemmas have fed into and fueled destructive processes of political polarization – dividing society, leadership, and decision-makers well beyond its borders.

As conceptualized in this study, the first is whether to prioritize political or economic rights in efforts to bring about transformative change (rights / redistribution). The second is whether and how to work with government and/or donors given their political, economic, and social agendas (participation / resistance). This book investigates these issues through two social movement organizations – the National Constitutional Assembly and the Zimbabwe National War Veterans’ Association – and the movements they led to achieve constitutional change and radical land redistribution. Through in-depth case study analysis and peace and conflict impact assessment spanning the years 1997-2010, lessons are drawn for activists, practitioners, policy-makers, and scholars interested in depolarizing concepts underpinning polarizing discourses, transcending strategy dilemmas, and understanding how social action can better contribute to transformative change and peace.

“This book provides rich empirical details on the competing narratives regarding the evolution of Zimbabwe’s social movements since the social crisis . . . resulting from the negative economic impacts of neoliberal policies adopted in 1990. It tracks the emergence of counter social movements mainly since the escalation of domestic political polarization over constitutional reform in 2000, and the subsequent confrontations between the Zimbabwe state (in alliance with land movements) and international capital (in alliance with key governance reform NGOs).”
Sam Moyo, Executive Director of African Institute for Agrarian Studies; President of CODESRIA

About the author

Erin McCandless is a part-time faculty member of the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School for General Studies, New York. She is the founder and co-executive editor of the Journal of Peacebuilding and Development.

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Ambrose Musiyiwa Interviews John Eppel, Author of Together

TogetherAmbrose Musiyiwa interviewed John Eppel, an award-winning writer who published his latest book, Together, a collection of short stories and poems written together with the late Julius Chingono, earlier this year.

Eppel says Together is different from anything else he’s ever written, because it’s a book by two elderly Zimbabweans who come from different racial, cultural and regional backgrounds:

How would you describe Together?

My latest book, Together, is a joint affair, combining poems and short stories by Julius Chingono and me; so it’s our latest book – a poignant phrase since Julius did not live to see it in print.

I wrote my portion of the book in 2008. Since I was earning almost nothing as a teacher, I applied for a year’s leave, and wrote three books: a novel, Absent: the English Teacher, a collection of short stories, White Man Walking, and a collection of poems, Landlocked. I sent them to Weaver Press who accepted the novel but rejected the poems and short stories. It was from these rejected items that my contribution to Together was made.

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Rosetta Codling Interviews the Inspiring John Eppel

Zimbabwean poet, John Eppel

TogetherJohn Eppel, co-author of Together, sees himself as a “southern African”, having lived in both South Africa and Zimbabwe, and does not hestitate to criticise corruption in either of these two countries. Rosetta Codling of Examiner.com spoke to Eppel about his roles as parent, teacher, poet, novelist and short story writer:

Question: Can you explain the role of Zimbabwean and South African politics in your works?

Eppel: I was born in South Africa, as were my parents, grandparents, and two great grandparents, but I grew up in Zimbabwe where I still live, so I like to think of myself as a Southern African. These two countries have had similar histories, ancient and modern. When I became aware, rather late, I’m afraid, of the injustices of colonialism, apartheid in particular (in Rhodesia they called it ‘separate development’), I dealt with my guilt and my anger by writing satire. My early novels (I have written seven, one yet to be published), focused almost entirely on ridiculing the white settler community – my people. But over the years following Independence in 1980, it became clear that our new leaders and their followers were just as oppressive as the regime they replaced. No doubt about it – power corrupts. South Africa got its Independence more than a decade later. Under Mbeki and then Zuma, Nelson Mandela’s evanescent ‘rainbow nation’ reverted to the Mugabe model: patronage and cronyism, which enriches the few at the expense of the many. All the hype about Nationalism and Patriotism has blurred the real issue in this part of the world: abject poverty. When it suits them, these governments play the Race card (a certain trump in Africa), but it’s more than race or gender, or xenophobia – it’s Class – as it always has been throughout the world. Zimbabwe has enough mineral wealth alone to provide every one of its 12 000 000 citizens with adequate food, shelter, health and education; yet 80% of Zimbabweans live in abject poverty. The life expectancy of a Zimbabwean woman is 33.5 years – the lowest in the world! The men and women who run this country, and that includes a number of soldiers, are fabulously rich. So now, my political satire is targeted at anybody who behaves badly – black, brown, white.

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