African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 170


Politics and anarchy: Zimbabwe’s 2008 run-off presidential elections in context

  Zein Kebonang      
Operations Director, Botswana-UPenn Partnership, Private Bag 324, Gaborone, Botswana.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 27 January 2012
  •  Published: 31 March 2012



Following the “successful” subvertion of the electoral process by President Mugabe in the 2008 run-off presidential elections in Zimbabwe and the subsequent formation of the Government of National Unity, this paper attempts to offer insights that may explain President Mugabe’s refusal to honour the outcome of the electoral process and the subsequent degeneration into authoritarian and repressive politics. Based partly on international relations theories and theories on the nature of political authority in Africa, this paper argues that the conduct of President Mugabe and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) can best be explained from three “perspectives”: The self-preservation; the apologetic and the neo-patrimonial perspective.


Key words: Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU PF), sanctions, dialogue, power sharing, joint operations command (JOC), democracy, elections, movement of democracy change (MDC), government of national unity (GNU), civil society organizations (CSOs).

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