chapter  17
22 Pages

Mbimbos, Zvipamuzis and ‘primitive accumulation’ in Zimbabwe’s violent mineral economy: crisis, chaos and the state


As May 2009 drew to a close an ‘interim transitional government’, more commonly known after the supposed South African precedent as the ‘government of national unity’ (GNU) in Zimbabwe had been in existence for just over 100 days. This particular form of governance had been established in mid-February to allow the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) the opportunity to share Zimbabwe’s rule for two to five years until a new constitution would be formed laying the groundwork for new elections. The MDC had struggled for nearly a decade in the face of electoral fraud, brutal force and spiralling economic meltdown to gain state power from the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), which had been ruling Zimbabwe since it entered the realm of majority rule in 1980. Independent observers contend that the opposition party won the March 2008 election (as it had all elections since 2000), but Robert Mugabe remained in his presidential position in a government cobbled together after months of negotiations ‘facilitated’ by the once president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki.