Zimbabwe: race and nationalism in a post colonial state
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Among the many paradoxes of the Lancaster House Settlement in Zimbabwe is that, even as the agreement formally ended settler colonial rule in the country, it provided the framework for continued white privilege, on the bases of persistent control of the economy by this elite, and through them, transnational capital. The consequences are that there are serious ambiguities in the discourses and practices of race and nationalism currently operational in Zimbabwean society. Thus, on the one hand, the currently favoured ’rationality’of market values, entrepreneurialism and other components of the high nostrums of capitalist ideology, resonating in the Structural Adjustment Programme, have given a renewed confidence to those forces unwilling to confront the structural causes underlying continuing racial inequality in this ’post-settler colonial society!’1 This ideological trend has appeared more credible because of the growth of Black elite formation, already initiated, although in a proscribed form, during the colonial period. On the other hand the more general magnitude of economic and social differentiations between the major racial groups, and more particularly for the Black petty-bourgeoisie, the continued frustration of large sections of this class in their attempts to establish more permanent niches in the accumulation process, have made it difficult for the leadership to dispatch the question of racial inequality too hastily without severely damaging what remains of the self-respect of the 1980 agenda. As a result the policy of ’reconciliation’ enunciated in 1980 is a cauldron of contradictions.