International Journal of Political Science and Development

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International Journal of Political Science and Development

Vol. 2(10), pp. 227 236, November, 2014.  

DOI: 10.14662/IJPSD2014.017

ISSN: 2360-784X



Research Paper



Zimbabwe: the challenge of Democracy from below, 1980 to 2013


Makaye, Peter1 and Dube, Brian2


1,2 Department of Development Studies and Public Law, Midlands State University, Zimbabwe.

1Corresponding author’s Email: makayep@msu.ac.zw


Accepted 22 November 2014




The independence of Zimbabwe from colonial rule in 1980 brought with it hope and optimism of democracy. The independent Zimbabwe inherited an authoritarian state and undemocratic institutions, and therefore had a huge responsibility of democratizing. The post colonial government managed to make significant achievements in socio-economic gains for the black population through expanded provisions of health and educational facilities, as well as infrastructural developments such as roads, boreholes, schools and clinics. The post independent state in Zimbabwe however failed to provide full democracy to its people. Although there have been regular elections in Zimbabwe, based on adult universal suffrage in 1980,1985,1990,1995, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2008 and recently 2013, this paper argues that Zimbabwe has not yet fully democratized. The continued existence of repressive laws governing public order, access to information as well as the heavy handedness of law enforcement agents and state security agents against opposition members, human rights activists, government critics and members of the media fraternity is a clear demonstration of Zimbabwe’s failure to fully democratize. This paper makes an analysis of how Zimbabwe has for the period under review failed to uphold basic rights and freedoms of the people and interrogate specific events and activities before, during and after elections to demonstrate how the state has failed in its duty to fully democratize. This paper will conclude by giving recommendations and suggestions on how the challenges to full democracy in Zimbabwe can be overcome.


Key Words: Democracy, full democracy, democracy from below, social movements, authoritarianism


Cite This Article As: Peter M, Brian D (2014). Zimbabwe: the challenge of Democracy from below, 1980 to 2013. Inter. J. Polit. Sci. Develop. 2(10): 227-236






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