ISBN 9781779224064
Pages 478
Dimensions 229 x 152mm
Published 2022
Publisher Weaver Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

Leaving so Many Behind

The Link Between Politics and the Economy in Zimbabwe

by Godfrey Kanyenze

In this accessible and authoritative book, Godfrey Kanyenze provides a comprehensive and far-reaching analysis of the socio-economic development in Zimbabwe in light of the expanding authoritarianism and the ongoing destruction of democratic institutions during the four decades after independence. Kanyenze describes the various phases of the socio-economic development starting with 1980 when the people of Zimbabwe saw their hard-won independence and new democracy as a promise for a "better life for all". Kanyenze highlights how by dismantling all barriers of economic and legal restraint, and that despite being necessary, The land reform programme put the political and financial interests of the elite before those of the people which continues to this day.

Kanyenze reveals the governmental attacks on civil society, and notes how economic policy was not even part of an "authoritarian bargain", an implicit arrangement between ruling elites and citizens whereby citizens relinquish political freedom in exchange for public goods. And he concludes this analysis with a current update of Zimbabwe today, where citizens have nothing -neither political freedom nor public goods.

This impressive and gripping account of an authoritarian capitalist system and a country in decline is a must-read for students, researchers, policymakers and those who want to better understand how politics and the economy, interests, conflicts, and power work together.

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"Kanyenze's book is a perfect one-volume lamentation on Zimbabwe. A rare, dazzlingly honest analysis, told with as much intellectual precision as emotional tenderness. Kanyenze has not written Zimbabwe off, but has rather offered a renewed sense of hope."

Bella Matambanadzo, African Feminist Activist and Writer

" . . a clear, concise, and comprehensive overview of Zimbabwe's economic (and political!) history, this book is also an outline for the democratic developmental state crucial for its resurrection - and, implicitly, for its ruling class's reconstitution."

David Moore, Professor of Development Studies, University of Johannesburg

"This valuable book accurately demonstrates why and how Zimbabwe's economy deteriorated to the point of collapse. Kanyenze enumerates Zimbabwe's seventeen economic plans and analyses why each of them failed. In brief, they are contradictory and short term, some lasting no more than two or three years. They could never have succeeded in such a short period."

Fay Chung, former Minister of Education

About the Author

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.