A New Twilight in Zimbabwe? The Military vs. Democracy

Issue Date April 2014
Volume 25
Issue 2
Page Numbers 67-76
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The militarization of state institutions in Zimbabwe now extends beyond just the state-security agencies to other key institutions including the judiciary, state-owned media, and the electoral commission. Just as certain state institutions have become militarized, so has the ruling ZANU-PF fused with the state. According to ZANU-PF’s “end-of-history” mentality, the party is entitled to stay in power forever due to its liberation credentials. To them, the attainment of independence in 1980 signaled the end of all struggles; any opposition is therefore deemed an attempt to reverse the gains of independence. The inevitable departure of President Mugabe, who is now ninety years old, will permanently alter Zimbabwean politics, but it will not necessarily provide an opportunity for a democratic breakthrough.

About the Author

Charles Mangongera, a Zimbabwean human-rights and governance researcher, was a 2013–14 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow at the National Endowment for Democracy. He has been a senior program officer at Freedom House; a program officer for human rights, democratization, ICT, and media at HIVOS; and Chief Research Fellow at the Mass Public Opinion Institute.

View all work by Charles Mangongera