Land and the changing fortunes of Madzishe in Zimbabwe
Maraike, Claude G.
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In this chapter, we discuss the role of Madzishe (chiefs) in nation-building using Zimbabwe as a reference point. We take into consideration that leadership is an important component in the development of a national ethos. The survival, solidarity and autonomy of a people depend on the nature and quality of leaders. Two questions are addressed in this chapter: What should be the role of Madzishe in Zimbabwe’s development process? How has this role evolved from the European invasion period to the post-political independence era? In response to these questions, this chapter explores the assumption that Madzishe ought to continue to act as people’s rallying points. Conflicts that sometimes arise between Madzishe and other forms of leadership in Zimbabwe may be a result of policies and procedures imported from European practices. The main point to note is that the conflicts concern rules of resource accessibility, control, ownership and utilisation. Are the factors responsible for decisions concerning the design of organisations which represent the aspirations and needs of the people, under Madzishe or are they located within state apparatus and in what proportions? Or are they located outside both state apparatus and people under Madzishe?