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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Politicization and resistance in the Zimbabwean national army
Author:Maringira, Godfrey
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:military personnel
External link:https://doi.org/10.1093/afraf/adw055
Abstract:While the dominant discourse in Zimbabwe on and about soldiers is that they are perpetrators of political violence, this does not always reflect the lived experiences of soldiers who joined the army in post-independence Zimbabwe. Based on army deserters' narratives emerging from 44 life history interviews and two focus groups, this article argues that not all soldiers have been supportive of President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF. Rather, ZANU-PF had to work quite hard to ensure the political loyalty of its soldiers, who often resisted and challenged ZANU-PF political coercion. The barracks constituted a site in which 'military professionalism' and 'politics' were at loggerheads. The article analyses the ways in which these army deserters were spied on, punished, demoted, and detained: practices which they all contend were politicized by partisan commanders in the barracks. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]