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Conflict and Consensus in Zimbabwe's Government of National Unity: An Alternative to a Decade of Political and Economic Crisis

Dennis Masaka


This essay discusses the “marriage of inconvenience” between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the two parties forming the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the Government of National Unity. The marriage following the disputed presidential runoff election of June 27, 2008 sought to address the political and economic crises that Zimbabwe has faced since the turn of the new millennium. Given the sharp ideological differences between the political parties in the Government of National Unity, the essay assesses the functionality of unity as an alternative to the untenable economic and political situation of the pre-Government National Unity period. It argues that although the parties to the union openly disliked each other’s political and economic ideologies, they accepted the Global Political Agreement to expeditiously deal with the national issues that heightened the nation’s fragility1 prior to the formation of the unity government. Reconciling these political tensions that seemingly derive from different ideologies is critical if the Government of National Unity is to achieve its political and economic objectives for the benefit of Zimbabwe. There is need for some measure of consensus among the political parties in order to prevent the unity government from degenerating into a dysfunctional circus.


zimbabwe; global political agreement; government of national unity; politics; economy

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Journal on African Philosophy. ISSN: 1533-1067 (online).
Editor: Olufemi Taiwo.

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