Accepted paper:

"The constructions of "patriots" and "sell-outs" and the remaking of political order on commercial farmlands in Zimbabwe"


Arnold Chamunogwa (University of Oxford)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines how the ruling party deployed an intimidatory and abrasive form of partisan authority that sought to govern resettled populations based on the distinction between "patriots" and "sell-outs."

Paper long abstract:

The paper contributes to debates on state transformation in Zimbabwean by providing a new view on the dramatic remaking of political order on commercial farmlands. This involved a rapid and violent shift from the "domestic government" of white farmers to a new system of partisan authority established by Zanu PF. The paper explains how the domestic government of white farmers was fractured and dismantled, and how Zanu PF constructed and established a new system of partisan authority that became the dominant mode of governing commercial farming areas from 2000 to 2002. The contours of citizenship in commercial farming areas were redrawn in the process, resulting in the classification of land occupiers, farm workers, and white farmers as "patriots," "sell-outs" and "political enemies", respectively. The paper examines governance under the Zanu PF system of partisan authority by looking at how its logics, registers and techniques of power were deployed to enforce and sanction desirable and undesirable citizenship based on the ideology of "patriotic nationalism." Occupiers had stronger positions to contest and renegotiate their subjection to the Zanu PF system of partisan authority, compared to farm workers and white farmers, as they could make claims to "patriotic citizenship" because they were part of the land struggles of 2000 to 2002. The paper demonstrates that the state went beyond redistributing land and sought to re-create an imagined community of "patriotic citizens" on the farms - with loyalty to Zanu PF being the defining, but not only, criteria for patriotism.

panel P125
Everyday Citizenship: entanglements of state power, space and citizenship in contemporary Africa