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Vol 39 No 3

Published 6th February 1998


More than money

ZANU fears the riots in Harare were about politics as much as economics

Facing his 74th birthday on 21 February, President Robert Mugabe must be thinking hard about his future and his legacy. The food riots of 19-21 January were the most serious challenge to Mugabe’s authority yet and have led many to draw parallels with the decline of President Kenneth Kaunda’s government less than a decade ago amid economic chaos. There is one critical difference. There is no mass opposition party in Zimbabwe on the lines of Zambia’s Movement for Multi-Party Democracy. Yet there are the early signs of a similar coalition, among labour, civil society and business, forming in Zimbabwe such as gave birth to the MMD. It seems that if this group is unable to advance its interests within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, it may decide to establish a rival organisation.

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