The Labour Movement and the Post-Colonial State in Zimbabwe


‘How many times has the liberation movement worked together with workers, and at the moment of victory betrayed the workers? …. if you relax your vigilance, you will find that your sacrifices have been in vain.’ (Nelson Mandela at the 1993 COSATU Special Congress.)

In the struggles for democratisation that emerged in the late 1980s and 1990s in Africa, labour movements often played a central role in the development of opposition politics. Striking Back examines the emergence of labour as a strong organisational and political force in the struggles against an increasingly authoritarian state in Zimbabwe.

Written by specialists in the labour movement, and approached from a variety of different perspectives, the chapters discuss the political, economic, global, organisational, legal, gender and sectoral challenges faced by the labour movement, in its move from the margins of liberation politics, to a pivotal role in the post-colonial struggles for a more responsible and accountable civil society and government.

“The historical study of Zimbabwe is opening out and developing in two ways. First, the nationalist historical narrative which has dominated for twenty years is breaking up, and hitherto subordinated narratives are breaking through. Second, historians are joining political scientists and sociologists in writing about the period since Independence. This book is important in both ways. Striking Back is essential reading for anyone interested either in Zimbabwe’s history or in her present predicament.” (Professor Terence Ranger)

Striking Back
The Labour Movement and the Post-Colonial State in Zimbabwe, 1980-2000
Brian Raftopoulos and Lloyd Sachikonye [eds]
2001: 210 x 150; 344 pp
ISBN: 0 7974 2286 2

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