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A Crisis of Governance: Zimbabwe Perfect Paperback – April 20, 2004


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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Algora Publishing (April 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0875862845
  • ISBN-13: 978-0875862842
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,796,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Chikuhwa chronicles Zimbabwe's bleak history since the nation (then Rhodesia) achieved independence from Great Britain in 1980. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Chikuhwa devotes the first part of his analysis to his nation's vexed constitutional history. After outlining constitutions set up under British rule and then under a white minority government, the author focuses in detail on the 1979 "Lancaster House Constitution" of the Republic of Zimbabwe and how the new government, dominated by the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front, or ZANU (PF), and headed by President Robert Mugabe, enacted radical constitutional amendments that gave Mugabe far-reaching presidential powers. Chikuhwa shows how Mugabe's government quickly adopted a Marxist-Leninist style of authoritarianism, and documents widespread corruption, government intolerance of criticism, coercive tactics regarding voting, and the irresponsible manipulation of land redistribution. As many have done, he accuses Mugabe's government of nepotism, corruption and "blatant disregard for accepted ethical commercial practice." The second part of Chikuhwa's study focuses on how corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability in Zimbabwe's governance have intensified social problems, crime and poverty, and have alienated the IMF and World Bank as well as potential foreign investors. Chikuhwa analyzes this "quagmire" industry by industry, making recommendations for economic improvements. Chikuhwa's study, rich in statistical data and heartfelt commentary, will serve as a useful introduction to Zimbabwe's society, economics and recent history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Chikuhwa presents a thorough, hard-hitting and fair account of the decline of popular government and economic promise in Zimbabwe since the establishment of the ZANU (PF) regime in 1980. The coverage is empirical and divided into two unequal parts: a legalistic description of "constitutional development" and a less structured description of "economic empowerment" failures. All can be explained by the ruthless determination of Mugabe and his cynical inner circle to stay in power and to enrich themselves at state expense. The economic programs fail because government lacks the political will and rejects the basics of democratic ethics. Chikuhwa is best in treating the repression of the media, constitutional amendments, electoral fraud, and growing dissent within the ruling party.... Summing Up: RECOMMENDED. Upper-division undergraduates and above. --Choice Magazine

Chikuhwa chronicles Zimbabwe's bleak history since the nation (then Rhodesia) achieved independence from Great Britain in 1980. Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Chikuhwa devotes the first part of his analysis to his nation's vexed constitutional history. After outlining constitutions set up under British rule and then under a white minority government, the author focuses in detail on the 1979 "Lancaster House Constitution" of the Republic of Zimbabwe and how the new government, dominated by the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front, or ZANU (PF), and headed by President Robert Mugabe, enacted radical constitutional amendments that gave Mugabe far-reaching presidential powers.

Chikuhwa shows how Mugabe's government quickly adopted a Marxist-Leninist style of authoritarianism, and documents widespread corruption, government intolerance of criticism, coercive tactics regarding voting, and the irresponsible manipulation of land redistribution. As many have done, he accuses Mugabe's government of nepotism, corruption and "blatant disregard for accepted ethical commercial practice."

The second part of Chikuhwa's study focuses on how corruption and a lack of transparency and accountability in Zimbabwe's governance have intensified social problems, crime and poverty, and have alienated the IMF and World Bank as well as potential foreign investors. Chikuhwa analyzes this "quagmire" industry by industry, making recommendations for economic improvements. Chikuhwa's study, rich in statistical data and heartfelt commentary, will serve as a useful introduction to Zimbabwe's society, economics and recent history.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --Publishers Weekly

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. Wilson on May 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Even with intense interest and focus on Zimbabwe, few analyses have been able to penetrate to the heart of the matter, moving us beyond the strident rhetoric of all the parties concerned. This detailed examination transcends the restricted view of the crisis in Zimbabwe through the lens of land dispute, to a broader perspective of an even more fundamental failure in governance. The author argues that the crisis in Zimbabwe is not as much a function of a heated confrontation over land, as it is a deeper issue of failed constitutional reform since the country's independence in 1980. The crisis has ensued precisely because the government has failed to move Zimbabwe beyond the negotiated Lancaster House Constitution of 1980, to a document that truly reflects the aspirations of the majority of Zimbabweans.
Expansive, thorough and compellingly argued, this is a 'must read' for all who appreciate the complexities of politics in post-colonial Africa.
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I read this book about a year ago, it helped me understand the difficulties of African nations gaining independence and maintaining it. The author had so much detail I often felt I was reading a historical fiction.
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