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Zimbabwe’s Predatory State: Party, Military and Business
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Price: R 350
Publication Date: 2017-12-18
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 978 1 86914 384 8
Width: 150
Height: 230
Pages: 224

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Review by Brian Raftopolous Transformation 98 (2018) In November 2017 the military carried out a ‘soft coup’ against Robert Mugabe and the G40 faction in Zanu PF which supported him. The G40 faction was made up of younger politicians who had built their power base in support of Mugabe and his wife Grace. This intervention followed a longer history of succession battles in the ruling party since the early 2000s in which the role and support of the military was always a key factor. However Mugabe’s long time claim that despite the importance of the military in Zanu PF’s history ‘politics always ruled the gun’, was finally put to rest. The hard, coercive power of the military finally came to the fore as its leadership felt increasingly under threat from Mugabe and the G40 group. [More]

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By the dawn of independence in 1980, Zimbabwe had one of the most structurally developed economies and state systems in Africa and was classified as a middle-income country. In 1980, Zimbabwe’s GDP per capita was almost equal to that of China. More than 30 years later, Zimbabwe had regressed to a country with a GDP per capita among the lowest in the world. With these dark economic conditions, discussions concerning structural problems of a country once cited as Africa’s best potential are reignited. Shumba interrogates the party, military and business complex, modes of accumulation across key economic sectors and implications for development outcomes.


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