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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Of weevils and gamatox: titles, names and nicknames in ZANU PF succession politics
Author:Nyambi, Oliver
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:heads of State
language usage
About person:Robert Gabriel Mugabe (1924-2019)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/14725843.2015.1100109
Abstract:Since replacing Ndabaningi Sithole as the party leader in 1975, Robert Mugabe has managed to hold on to power in spite of overt and covert internal and external machinations to the contrary. However, as age is apparently beginning to take its toll on his durability, the succession debate is increasing its tempo. Underlying the discourse of events, processes, personalities, accusations and counter-accusations in this debacle is language. Language and its associated cultural dynamics was used by each of the rival factions to, inter alia, claim legitimacy and moral ground to annihilate the other group and to counter verbal and/or non-verbal vilifications by opponents. It is therefore problematic that most critical enquiries into this emerging stage in the history of the ruling party seldom focus on these cultural dynamics. This study uses a functionalist approach of discourse to interrogate the conversation of names, nicknames and titles that emerged along with the factional struggles. It argues that beyond illuminating and archiving some of the major moments in the unfolding succession battle, these names, nicknames and titles reflect the nature of the problem, particularly revealing the attitudes, inter- and intrapersonal relationships, and the psychology of the political players involved. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]