Zimbabwe ten years on: Results and prospects

by Sam Moyo and Paris Yeros

, by Pambazuka

After a decade of political polarisation and international stand-off, the debate on Zimbabwe has finally been opened up to a wider reading public, thanks to Mahmood Mamdani’s ‘Lessons of Zimbabwe’ appearing in the London Review of Books (4 December 2008) and Pambazuka News (3 December 2008). Renowned scholars, within and without Africa, have broken their silence and have taken public positions. The debate now extends beyond a small group of specialists in southern Africa and the UK and also goes deeper into the issues than what is readily available in the daily media. While we may wonder why it took nearly a decade for this to happen, there is good reason for the sudden change: during November–December 2008, Western governments and associated think-tanks began to test publicly the idea of intervening militarily in a small peripheral country and ex-colony, this time under the pretext of the ‘right to protect’ Zimbabweans from a crazed tyrant. For many of us, this is dangerous talk; for others, it is either not serious enough, or serious and overdue. It is no surprise then that the knives would come out in the ensuing debate, and that this would intensify with the prospect of forming an ‘inclusive government’ and resolving critical issues. Read more