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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Zimbabwe's post-colonial antinomies as the 'northern problem': policy projections
Author:Mhlanga, BrilliantISNI
Periodical:African Security Review (ISSN 2154-0128)
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:centre and periphery
regional disparity
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10246029.2010.539816
Abstract:Zimbabwe, like many other postcolonial African States, has a 'northern problem'. As a metaphor, the concept of 'northern problem' refers to the disgruntled groups in a State claiming a particular history and identity that differ from those of the dominant 'other'. The metaphor does not necessarily imply that these forms of disenchantment and their fissures are found in the northern parts of every African nation-State. Rather, certain groups in a State may not consider themselves to be citizens and also hold the view of State boundaries as fictitious. Matebeleland, in Zimbabwe, serves as an example, with calls for devolution of power or a form of irredentist secessionist bid. The 'northern problem' results from feelings of being dominated, excluded and marginalized in terms of national resource distribution and leadership (power as a resource) arrangements. This article examines the future challenges that may be faced given the region of Matebeleland as a political hotbed in Zimbabwe and the possibility of violent conflict if their concerns are not addressed. It also attempts to provide a detailed engagement of the devolution of power conceptualized as part of administrative decentralization. The article concludes by arguing that if the devolution of power is properly implemented, starting with inclusion in the Zimbabwean constitution, the challenge of Matebeleland as a 'northern problem' may cease to pose a threat that is likely to fan secessionist calls. Notes, ref., sum. (p. VIII-IX). [Journal abstract]