The parallels between Zimbabwean and South African trade unionism

By | June 2008

The early 1990s in Southern Africa saw the emergence of a exhilarating and esoteric phenomena-the embryonic rise of what I will call ‘trade unions-turned- political parties’, with Zambia providing the inaugural prototype in the successful metamorphosis of aspects of the Zambian Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU-Zambia) into the first labor-based political party in Southern Africa, the gaudy Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). The MMD was led by the former Secretary General of ZCTU (Zambia), the nebulous Frederick Chiluba. The MMD won the subsequent key 1991 presidential election in Zambia which ended 27 of Kenneth ‘KK’ Kaunda’s increasingly tempestuous presidency in Zambia.Chiluba succeeded the inherently pertinacious Kaunda in this watershed election in Zambia. Kenneth Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP) had been in power since Zambia gained its independence from Britain in 1964.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 79
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Methodism and Socio-political Action in Zimbabwe: 2000-2007

By | June 2008

This paper examines the performance of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe during the past eight years of Robert Mugabe’s regime and proposes a new paradigm for forming a faith community that confronts dictatorship in Zimbabwe. It calls for a responsible theology of involvement by the ordinary Christians that begins with the grounding of new members in a faith that sees the world as the arena of their faith in God and who consequently can stand and be victorious against oppression by the state.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 79
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Can Elections End Mugabe’s Dictatorship?

By | June 2008

Zimbabweans’ experience of elections, especially since 2000 when the MDC first challenged ZANU PF rule, has made them cynical about elections as a mechanism to transfer power. They have learned that ZANU PF will do whatever it takes to win elections. 2007 was rated the worst year in terms of the number of human rights abuses since 2001, most perpetrated by ZANU PF state and paramilitary forces, and aimed at decimating the top and lower level leadership of the opposition in advance of the anticipated 2008 elections.1 Also, there was growing disillusionment with the opposition. The March 29 2008 presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections initially aroused little interest among dejected voters. The MDC had split into two bickering factions in late 2005, the majority faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and the minority faction by Arthur Mutambara (MDC-M). The MDC-T was increasingly bedeviled by youth violence, problems of leadership transparency and accountability, and interest in positions for the material rewards they provided. Its political culture had begun to mimic the organization which it sought to remove.

Filed under: ACAS Review (Bulletin), Bulletin 79
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ACAS Press Release: Zimbabwe Crisis

By | June 2008

The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS), has published a special issue on Zimbabwe in the ACAS Bulletin. It introduces the issues surrounding Zimbabwe’s March 29 elections and the current political violence leading up to the June 27th Presidential run-off. The aim of this special Zimbabwe issue is to provide details and analysis often left out of mainstream news sources. The reader will find a variety of articles from different perspectives, by Zimbabwe experts from the fields of political science, sociology, history, and theology, as well as from seasoned Zimbabwe journalists and an NGO worker reporting from the field. The special issue concludes with a historically-inflected editorial on Zimbabwe’s politics of violence, an open letter to Thabo Mbeki, and provides a listing of on-line resources for further research and information.

Filed under: ACAS in the Press, Announcements, Press Statements
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Africa Action on Debt Cancellation

By | June 2008

In April we celebrated a key victory when the House of Representatives passed the Jubilee Act for Responsible Lending and Expanded Debt Cancellation – many thanks to you all for the persistent calls and letters to your representatives. We stand within reach of total victory if we can push the U.S. Senate to pass the Senate version of this historic legislation (Jubilee Act (S 2166)).

Filed under: Action Alerts