ISBN 9781779221643
Pages 144
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Published 2011
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

When a State Turns on its Citizens

60 years of Institutionalised Violence in Zimbabwe

by Lloyd Sachikonye

Lloyd Sachikonye traces the roots of Zimbabwe's contemporary violence to the actions of the Rhodesian armed forces, and the inter-party conflicts that occurred during the liberation war. His focus, however, is the period since 2000, which has seen state-sponsored violence erupting in election campaigns and throughout the programme of fast-track land reform. The consequences of this violence run wide and deep. Aside from inflicting trauma and fear on its victims, the impunity enjoyed by its perpetrators has helped to mould a culture within which personal freedoms and dreams are strangled. At a broader social level, it is responsible - both directly and indirectly - for millions of Zimbabweans voting with their feet and heading for the diaspora. Such a migration 'cannot simply be explained in terms of the search for greener economic pastures. Escape from authoritarianism, violence, trauma and fear is a large factor behind the exodus.' Sachikonye concludes that any future quest for justice and reconciliation will depend on the country facing up to the truth about the violence and hatred that have infected its past and present.

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About the Author

Lloyd Sachikonye

Lloyd Sachikonye is a Professor of Political Science based at the University of Zimbabwe where he has researched and taught for over 30 years. His main research interests relate to democratic processes in Africa and development strategies in southern Africa. Amongst his many publications are Civil Society, State and Democracy (1995), When the State turns on its Citizens (2011) and Zimbabwe’s Lost Decade (2012). Prof. Sachikonye is a founding Trustee of the International Development Institute (IDI).

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