Zimbabwean Politics in the Post-2013 Election Period

Brian Raftopoulos


The 2013 elections in Zimbabwe confirmed the grip of Mugabe and ZANU-PF on Zimbabwean politics. The electoral outcome was the result of a combination of factors that included not only the longterm legacy of ZANU-PF’s coercive politics, constructed through a radical nationalist discourse, but also the changes in the social structure of the country as a result of the reconfiguration of Zimbabwe’s political economy since the late 1990s. In the aftermath of the 2013 elections, the enormous economic constraints confronting the country have forced the Mugabe regime to take a more conciliatory tone as it seeks to re-engage with the West in the search for economic assistance. In its attempts to find a path through these economic challenges, ZANU-PF must also contend with the growing battle for succession within the party as Mugabe’s rule draws to an end.

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