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«Citizenship in Zimb ng gini abw a e Im Tit o Edited by David Kaulemu Imagining Citizenship in Zimbabwe Edited by David Kaulemu Regional Co-ordinator ...»

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Citizenship in Zimb

ng

gini abw

a e

Im

Tit

o

Edited by

David Kaulemu

Imagining Citizenship

in Zimbabwe

Edited by

David Kaulemu

Regional Co-ordinator for Eastern and Southern Africa

African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching (AFCAST)

in association with

The African Forum for Catholic Social Teaching

Published by

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS)

26 Sandringham Drive, Alexandra Park

P.O. Box 4325, Harare, Zimbabwe

http://www.kas.de/simbabwe/en in association with the African Forum for Social Teaching (AFCAST) Arrupe College, 16 Link Road, P.O. Box MP 320 Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe http://www.afcast.org.zw ISBN 978-0-7974-5438-5 © the respective authors of individual chapters, 2012 Cover artwork by Titus Shangazhika, tel. +263 772 636 998 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without express written permission of the copyright holder.

The opinions and views expressed in this publication are the responsibility of the authors. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung does not necessarily subscribe to their opinions and views.

Typeset by TextPertise, Harare Printed by Sable Press, Harare Contents Introduction: Imagining Citizenship in Zimbabwe David Kaulemu v 1 Citizenship in the Christian World: Origins and Development of the Concept Munetsi Ruzivo 1 2 To Be or Not to Be Zimbabwean: A View from a Young Zimbabwean Chemwi Mutiwanyuka 30 3 Citizenship by Birth in Zimbabwe:

A Case Study Judith Garfield Todd 39 4 The Struggle for Nationhood and Citizenship in Zimbabwe Douglas Mpondi 50 5 Citizenship and Farm-workers in Zimbabwe Lloyd Sachikonye 59 6 Going beyond Legal to Active Citizenship Joram Tarusarira 69 7 Imagining Citizenship as Status and Duty Francisca Mandeya 84 8 Making a Case for Community Organizing and Citizenship in the Context of Zimbabwe’s Struggle for Democracy Sam Takavarasha Jr 95 9 Shona Traditional Religion and Culture, and Citizenship and Nationhood in Zimbabwe Tabona Shoko 114 10 Citizen, Witch or Non-person? Contested Concepts of Personhood in Political Violence and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe, 1978–2008 Diana Jeater 124 11 Rights beyond Border

–  –  –

This collection was originally planned to deal with how Zimbabweans have imagined nationhood and citizenship. It was intended to bring out how that imagination has influenced political, economic, social and cultural developments in Zimbabwe. Articles were to cover the Citizenship of Zimbabwe Act, empowerment policies, and legal/cultural/political ways of talking about citizenship. The title of the collection was to be, as it still is, Imagining Citizenship in Zimbabwe, and the articles were expected to deal with themes

and questions that included the following:

• The legal framework of citizenship in Zimbabwe and its links with the regional legal framework.

• Real experiences of citizenship in Zimbabwe and the SADC region.

• Lessons that can be learned from the Zimbabwean struggle for nationhood and democracy.

• Lessons that can be learned from the experiences of Zimbabweans living in neighbouring and foreign countries.

• The role of religion in defining nationhood and citizenship.

• How traditional systems of governance affect the understanding of citizenship.

• Experiences of citizenship in relation to gender, age, ethnicity and race.

• What Zimbabwe can learn from other countries in the SADC region.

The responses to this call were telling. My own reading of the responses could itself be telling. There was a general reluctance to talk explicitly about the ontological and spiritual identity of Zimbabwe and how that identity informs the way in which citizenship is imagined. There are many questions that Zimbabweans still hesitate to talk about in public, even though we will sometimes admit to our prejudices in private. As Zimbabweans, we shy away from public discourse unless we are assured of acceptance and victory. The universal common good is alien to our psyche. Since 1890, we have never

v David Kaulem

really accepted multiculturalism. In many ways we are colonial subjects who imbibed modern colonialist exclusivism with a vengeance.

In this spirit, Tabona Shoko has been courageous in publicly declaring, ‘It suffices to say that, by virtue of being Shona, one belongs to a community that identifies itself by nationality or citizenship as Zimbabwean.’ For Shoko, to be Shona is to be guaranteed Zimbabwean nationality and citizenship. His story is a patriarchal, ethnic monologue of what he understands to be ‘the Shona’. He remains conspicuously silent about whether all Zimbabweans need to be Shona in order to enjoy full citizenship. It is a silence that is, indeed, very loud and clear, for it is the elephant in the room which nobody is supposed to talk about.

Shoko’s imagining of citizenship seems to be what is behind Mudenge’s declaration that Present Zimbabwe, therefore, is not merely a ‘geographical expression’ created by imperialism during the nineteenth century.

It is a reality that has existed for centuries, with a language, a culture and a ‘world view’ of its own, representing the inner core of the Shona historical experience.1 For Mudenge – and, indeed, for Shoko – the core of Zimbabwean identity is not multicultural but mono-cultural. Non-Shona people in Zimbabwe will therefore always have a problematic citizenship status.





It is this point that Diana Jeater deals with as she tries to explain why the MDC’s strategy of appealing to the ideal,

Abstract

citizenship has not convinced Zimbabweans, and why ZANU(PF) has continued to hold sway over how citizenship is imagined. She asks: ‘Why has the MDC not been able to build up a stronger sense in Zimbabwe of the citizen and a citizen’s rights vis-à-vis the state?’ Could the explanation be that ‘the “unreal universality” of the category of citizen is absent’ in the Zimbabwean social and political imagination? This seems to be what Shoko is implying. Jeater, however, is

more nuanced and concludes:

It seems that the fixed and legalistic language of citizenship, while playing well internationally, has nonetheless weakened those who use it. This putatively a priori category necessarily excludes other categories of personhood and non-personhood: notably the category of ‘witch’. ZANU(PF) draws on the language of S. I. G. Mudenge, A Political History of Munhumutapa, c.1400–1902 (Harare: Zimbabwe Publishing House, 1988), 364.

–  –  –

contamination and ‘the enemy within’ far more effectively than conventional discourses of citizenship and constitutional rights can manage. Powerful metaphors of bodily fluids and the chopping/opening of the body to combat the contaminating influences of witches provided an unexpressed foundation for the violence of recent times. This visceral and situational language has proved much more potent in defining political persons than the legalistic notion of citizenship.

Jeater links Shona cultural imagination to ZANU(PF)’s political practice in ways that attempt to explain the political violence that has dogged the dis ussion on citizenship. She tries ‘to understand the un-coerced affinity c with ZANU(PF) that is still felt in many rural areas, which seems rooted in some hing more visceral, or perhaps more spiritual, than political affiliation t alone’. Her language and argument seem to cohere with those of Shoko and Mudenge, suggesting that a rich and realistic concept of Zimbabwean citizenship can be achieved only by interrogating ‘the inner core of the Shona historical experience’.

The silence about – and even a perceived reluctance in the majority of the papers in this collection to face directly – the elephant in the room suggests that Jeater is correct in her analysis of the general Zimbabwean imagination of citizenship. If this is so, then social and political practitioners in Zimbabwe and Africa have an almost impossible task on their hands. How do we discuss issues of citizenship in the context of modern African state formations?

Can the concept of witches and other local concepts help us to discuss constitutional provisions for defining citizenship?

These questions are critical, given that Zimbabwe and a number of other African countries have been reviewing their national constitutions. The South African constitution and South African political leaders and people seem much clearer about the question of whether white South Africans are full citizens of that country in a way that Zimbabweans are not. Zimbabweans seem more clear in their imagination of who is not a Zimbabwean. Many ordinary Zimbabweans seem certain that many of the people who possess Zimbabwean national identity cards, passports and other national papers are not really Zimbabweans. The question, ‘Where are you originally from?’ seems to give this clarity. And that clarity seems to be informed by ‘the inner core of the Shona historical experience’.

The personal experiences of Judith Todd, recorded for this collection, and Prof. Sachikonye’s article on the citizenship status of farm-workers, however,

vii David Kaulem

alert us to the political manipulation of citizenship by a political leadership in danger of losing power. They raise the question of how what are sometimes projected as honourable African cultural values, moral struggles for liberation and against imperialism and colonialism, can be a front for political manipulation. Political games are played around the discussion of citizenship.

This same point is made by Douglas Mpondi and Dominic Pasura in the context of the economic and political manipulation of Zimbabweans. Pasura

moves in a different direction from the one we see in Jeater’s article:

The advent of globalization, transnationalism, new international labour markets and political upheavals have undercut the foundational principles of citizenship, contributing to the expansion in membership of citizenship beyond the boundaries of national collectiveness.

In many ways, Pasura invites us to widen our imagination on citizenship. Like

him, Mpondi regrets the political manipulation in the history of Zimbabwe:

The tragedy is that even national policies reflect this narrow conception of nationhood and citizenship. In colonial Zimbabwe, indigeneity/localness was the basis for exclusion from citizenship, and after independence, foreignness and minority status became the basis for exclusion from citizenship. Citizenship has been manipulated for political gain in Zimbabwe, as locals were turned into strangers as a way of political exclusion.

Extending this argument, Praise Zenenga analyses how Zimbabweans have used ‘cultural production to assert and express identity, citizenship and belonging’. His aim is to demonstrate how identities are not ‘monolithic and static’. In doing so, he identifies a number of ways in which Zimbabweans

have claimed citizenship. He concludes:

The history of settler colonialism creates a unique multicultural post-independence society in Zimbabwe. The resultant citizenship claims in contemporary Zimbabwe range from birthright citizenship and indigenous citizenship by descent to derivative citizenship. These numerous and multidimensional claims to Zimbabwean nationality point to the fact that constructions of race, identity and citizenship will remain ambiguous, shifting and contested for some time.

It is this conclusion that Jeater’s article denies. For her, if this conclusion were true, the MDC would have gained more support than it has. If it were true, Judith Todd would have gained Zimbabwean citizenship either by birth,

viii Introduction: Imagining Citizenship in Zimbabwe

or by political commitment, or by what is sometimes called naturalization.

Todd asks why she failed to acquire Zimbabwean citizenship while Amina Hughes, who was born outside Zimbabwe, did not face the same problems that she did. Would Bernard Chidzero have faced the citizenship problems that so many Zimbabweans of Malawian, Mozambican and Zambian origin have faced?2 Several contributors to this collection have focused their attention not so much on the legal status of citizenship but on what Jorum Tarusarira calls ‘active citizenship’ and what Francisca Mandeya calls ‘civic virtue’ or the duty of citizenship. They argue that citizenship is more than just a legal status, though I hope that these colleagues do not take the legal status of citizenship for granted. With little social solidarity and a social psyche that struggles to accept the notion of the common good in a country like Zimbabwe, many citizens will not appreciate how many Zimbabwean residents struggle to acquire legal citizenship.

Many Zimbabweans have the legal status of citizenship yet do not enjoy their entitlements as citizens because of ignorance, political manipulation, corruption, mismanagement of resources, fear, and many other factors.

Citizenship, even for those who have the status, is a struggle that requires active participation to be enjoyed and a duty to be enacted. Tarusarira and Mandeya use the Paulo Freire ‘Training for Transformation’ methodology, and Sam Takavarasha Jr uses Saul Alinsky ‘community organizing’ model, to inform how that struggle for citizenship is to be waged and realized. The quality of this struggle will depend largely on how wide the social and political imaginaries are that will be used by participants in the struggle. We cannot fail to notice the cruel irony of the Zimbabwean liberation struggle. Yesterday’s liberators have themselves become purveyors of prejudice. Yesterday’s panAfricanists, who fought to widen the way that citizenship was imagined by the colonizers, have themselves become gatekeepers, specializing in manipulating others to become intolerant in the name of culture.



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