Zimbabwe’s Long Agony

Issue Date October 2008
Volume 19
Issue 4
Page Numbers 41-55
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What mechanisms have ensured ZANU-PF’s enduring rule? This article identifies five: an ideological belief in a right to rule in perpetuity, a party machinery that penetrates the organs of state, a corrupted economy vested in the hands of party loyalists, an institutionalized role in policy making for military commanders, and a heavy reliance on violence, increasingly outsourced to auxiliary forces. Because the ZANU-PF regime-a militarized form of electoral authoritarianism-will outlast the Robert Mugabe’s political career or biological lifespan, it will affect the nature of any political transition and future prospects for democracy in Zimbabwe.