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.

About the Authors

Michael Bratton

Michael Bratton is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science and African Studies at Michigan State University. He is a founder of the Afrobarometer and the author of Public Opinion, Democracy, and Markets in Africa (2005).

View all work by Michael Bratton

Eldred Masunungure

Eldred Masunungure is a lecturer in political and administrative studies at the University of Zimbabwe and director of the Mass Public Opinion Institute in Harare.

View all work by Eldred Masunungure