Books

Ashes and Fire: Life of Solomon Mujuru/Rex Nhongo (Forthcoming 2018)

Solomon Mujuru was a key member of Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF party and an eminent guerrilla commander (nom de guerre: Rex Nhongo) in Zimbabwe's liberation war (1971 to 1979). In August 2011, Mujuru died in a mysterious house fire on one of his commercial farms. News of his death captured Zimbabwean and international attention for weeks, as attempts were made to make sense of his significance and to uncover the cause of his demise. My book traces the roots of Mujuru's power and it shifts the focus of debate beyond Mugabe (who is often presented as the key figure in recent Zimbabwean politics and history) by highlighting the importance of Mujuru, who in effect was the power behind Mugabe for long periods. The book will examine Mujuru's moments of triumph and his shortcomings in equal measure. From his undistinguished youth and poor upbringing in Chikomba (a small rural town in Zimbabwe), through his meteoric rise and remarkable successes in Zimbabwe's liberation war, his role as head of the Zimbabwean military, to his contentious political career. Lastly, the book emphasises the major significance of Mujuru's political connections and situates his career within the wider history of Zimbabwean politics.

Politics, Patronage and the State in Zimbabwe (2014) [co-edited with Jocelyn Alexander and JoAnn McGregor]

"In this important, deeply nuanced collection, a range of scholars of Zimbabwe bring together fine-grained analyses of crisis-related transformations in state institutions, political economies and the practices of politics. The historically grounded and empirically rich contributions address in new ways familiar themes in African politics such as authority, politics, patronage, violence, legitimacy, and accumulation. This is a necessary and compelling addition to the established body of literature on Zimbabwe itself, and equally a sophisticated counter-point to the limitations of much scholarship on politics and states in Africa. Indispensable reading."
- Amanda Hammar, Centre of African Studies, Copenhagen University

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Making History in Mugabe's Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media (2010)

The crisis that has engulfed Zimbabwe since 2000 is not simply a struggle against dictatorship. It is also a struggle over ideas and deep-seated historical issues, still unresolved from the independence process, that both Robert Mugabe's ZANU PF regime and Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC are vying first to define and then to address. This book traces the role of politicians and public intellectuals in media, civil society and the academy in producing and disseminating a politically usable historical narrative concerning ideas about patriotism, race, land, human rights and sovereignty. It raises pressing questions about the role of contemporary African intellectuals in the making of democratic societies. In so doing the book adds a new and rich dimension to the study of African politics, which is often diluted by the neglect of ideas.

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