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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The curse of military commercialism in state enterprises and parastatals in Zimbabwe
Author:Moyo, Gorden
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 1465-3893)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:military personnel
public enterprises
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2016.1145981
Abstract:This article discusses the expanded involvement of the military in the political economy of Zimbabwe within the discursive context of 'military commercialism'. Specifically, the article seeks to unpack the implications of the increasing incursion of both retired and serving military officers into state enterprises and parastatals (SEPs) as shareholders, directors, chief executive officers, management, and, more curiously, as labour. The official version in support of this controversial phenomenon contends that military officership is endowed with rigour, order, probity, discipline, loyalty, and adaptability, all of which are crucial 'ingredients' for effective administration of state institutions. While lauded for these management attributes, this article argues that military officials have little background in macroeconomic policy or the professional ethos required for making SEPs deliver on their social and economic mandates. Moreover, contrary to the official version, ZANU(PF)-led government provides predatory commercial opportunities for the military officials, through secondment to SEPs, to increase their personal wealth as a reward for their loyalty in ensuring regime survival in the face of mounting challenge from the opposition political society since the tail end of the1990s. Against this backdrop, the military flagrantly interferes with political processes of the polity, including elections in favour of the ruling party - ZANU(PF). Yet the democratic ethos of civil-military relations ostensibly dictates a clear demarcation between the military institution, the political and the economy. This article therefore concludes that military forays into SEPs are significantly and robustly negative, in relation not only to the performance of SEPs but also to economic development in Zimbabwe. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]