ISBN 9781779223418
Pages 276
Dimensions 234 x 156 mm
Published 2018
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Building from the Rubble

The Labour Movement in Zimbabwe Since 2000

by Lloyd Sachikonye, Brian Raftopoulos, Godfrey Kanyenze

Building from the Rubble is the latest volume to trace the history of Zimbabwe’s labour movement, following Keep on Knocking (1997) and Striking Back (2001). Even though it focuses on the period between 2000-2017, the analysis reviews the changes in trade unionism throughout the post-colonial era.

For much of this period, the unions faced massive challenges, including state violence and repression, funding limitations, splits, factionalism, and problems of organising at factory level.

Perhaps the greatest challenge was the massive structural change in the economy. Deindustrialisation and the informalisation of work decimated the potential membership of the unions and redefined the trajectory of the movement. The growing precarity of work and the loss of formal employment placed the future of trade unions in great jeopardy. Notwithstanding these challenges, the importance of the labour movement continued to resonate with workers.

The editors conclude that the unions needs to reconnect with their social base at the workplace, and rebuild structures and alliances in the informal economy, the rural sector, and with residents’ associations and social media movements. ‘This’ they write ‘is a critical post-Mugabe agenda that should be seized by the labour movement at all levels, from shop-floor to district, regional and national spaces.

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About the Authors

Lloyd Sachikonye

Lloyd Sachikonye (1954) was born and educated in Zimbabwe. After attending Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria where he did his M.Sc. in Political Science, he acquired a Ph.D. from Leeds University in the UK. He is Associate Professor at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Zimbabwe where he has worked as a researcher and lecturer since 1983. On the Board of five professional international journals, he has also been widely published within his research field of the politics of labour movements, democracy, and civic society.

Brian Raftopoulos

Professor Brian Raftopoulos is a leading Zimbabwean scholar and activist. Formally an Associate Professor of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, he moved to Cape Town at the end of March 2006 and is currently the Director of Research and Advocacy in the Solidarity Peace Trust, an NGO dealing with human rights issues in Zimbabwe. He has published widely on Zimbabwean history, labour history, historiography, politics, and economic issues. Currently he is coordinating a book on the History of Zimbabwe with a group of Zimbabwean historians, as well as working on a study of The State and the Labour Question in Zimbabwe: 1945-2005. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies. In addition, Brian Raftopoulos has been a civic activist in Zimbabwe over the last decade. He was a member of the founding Task Force of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) 1998-2000, the editor of the NCA journal Agenda from 1999-2001, as well as the first Chair of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition from 2001-2003.

Godfrey Kanyenze

Godfrey Kanyenze is the Founding Director of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil.) in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in England. He began his professional career in 1986 as a Statistician with the Central Statistical Office (CSO) before joining the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) as an Economist / Consultant from May 1986 until September 2003. Godfrey was a Sub-editor of the Country Human Development Report (Zimbabwe) on Gender and Development, Poverty Reduction Forum, which was coordinated by UNDP & Ministry of Public Service, Labour & Social Welfare in 2005 and 2007. He Co-edited a book for the Alternatives to Neo-liberalism in Southern Africa Project – ANSA: The Search for Sustainable Human Development in Southern Africa published by Creda Communications of South Africa in January 2007. The book was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa on 13 January and the World Social Forum in Nairobi, Kenya on 23 January 2007 and is being launched in six SADC countries. Godfrey was a member of a Consultancy Team working on a ‘Comprehensive Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe Programme’ coordinated by UNDP. Until 2013, Godfrey was a member of the Board of Directors of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZIMSTAT). He is currently on the Zimbabwe National Productivity Institute and the Tripartite Wages and Salaries Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the Tripartite Negotiating Forum (TNF). He has been invited at speak at the annual conferences of the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (EMCOZ), the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) among others.

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