How Would You Characterise the Government of Zimbabwe? Is It Democratic, Authoritarian or Totalitarian?

1087 Words Mar 29th, 2011 5 Pages
|How would you characterise the government of Zimbabwe? Is it democratic, |
|authoritarian or totalitarian? |

How would you characterise the government of Zimbabwe? Is it democratic, authoritarian or totalitarian?

The subject of government rule has three broad categories namely democratic, authoritarian and totalitarian. In this essay I would like to present what defines each category and then look at the history and background of Zimbabwe before giving my findings on what I think characterises the government of Zimbabwe.

According to Blackwell (Blackwell:1987, p 166, 167, 168) democracy stems from the Greek words demos which means people and kratia which means
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The colony was founded by Cecil Rhodes in 1893 and named Southern Rhodesia in his honour. During this time Rhodesia was transformed into an apartheid state. Of the 65 seats in parliament, black people were only allowed a maximum of 15, schools, hospitals and houses were racially segregated and fertile land was reserved for white farmers. In 1964 Ian Smith became Prime Minister as the head of the Rhodesian Front. He was known as a ‘racist tyrant.’ By 1972 African guerillas had launched a brutal war against Smith’s rule.
Thousands died and Smith was compelled to attend the Lancaster House conference in London 1979 where an agreement emerged for black majority rule. (Blair: 2002, p10)

Robert Mugabe was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s first Prime Minister on 17 April 1980 and took power over a country with a history of bitter racial conflict. Zimbabwe was a country with the most unequal economy in the world according to Stoneman, (Stoneman: 1988, p43) as the average earnings for whites were nearly ten times those of blacks who were formally employed. Since whites only made up about 4% of the population, this painted a much skewed picture of the wealth distribution. Initially there were fears that Mugabe would seize white owned farms and subject unmentionable violence on whites. In his opening address however he stunned

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