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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Local Politics and the War of Liberation in North-East Zimbabwe
Author:Maxwell, David J.ISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:local politics
national liberation struggles
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2636907
Abstract:Inquiry into the nature of interactions between rural societies and guerrillas is now a central concern of scholars studying southern Africa. This paper, which focuses on the Katerere chiefdom of northern Nyanga district in Zimbabwe, analyses the interaction of local politics with ZANLA/ZIPA (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army/Zimbabwean People's Army) guerrilla strategies of mobilization during the war of liberation, 1976-1980. The paper details how guerrilla strategy changed over time and place and argues that ZANLA/ZIPA guerrilla ideology was essentially weak. On the ground, ZANLA's/ZIPA's attempts at mass mobilization were more pragmatic than ideologically determined. In order to achieve the widest possible legitimacy, guerrillas worked out locally specific strategies which varied according to gender, generation, ethnicity, social stratification and geographical location. The weakness of guerrilla ideology, and its consequent pragmatism can be explained in two ways. The first is the limited appeal of ZANLA/ZIPA cultural (Shona) nationalism. The second is the divisions within the guerrilla armies themselves. Notes, ref., sum.