This presentation will track the growth of authoritarian politics in post-colonial Zimbabwe, focussing in particular on the recent systematic project by the ruling party to dismantle the opposition, through a combination of judicial and coercive measures. The paper will also place Zimbabwe’s politics in a regional and international context.
Professor Brian Raftopoulos is a Zimbabwean scholar and activist. Formally Associate Professor of Development Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, he moved to Cape Town at the end of March 2006 and is currently the Director of Research and Advocacy in the Solidarity Peace Trust/Ukuthula Trust, an NGO dealing with human rights issues in Zimbabwe. Currently, he is also a Research Associate at the International Studies Group, University of the Free State. He has published widely on Zimbabwean history, labour history, historiography, politics, and economic issues. Prof. Raftopoulos was also a Mellon Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research at the University of the Western Cape from 2009-2016. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies and Kronos, Southern African Histories. In addition, he has been a civic activist in Zimbabwe since the 1990s. He was a member of the founding Task Force of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) 1998-2000, the editor of the NCA journal Agenda from 1999-2001, as well as the first Chair of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition from 2001-2003.