The land question and its impact on Mbeki's Zimbabwe policy during the Zimbabwe crisis : 1980-2008
Omulo, Albert G
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The focus of this research is South Africa's foreign policy towards Zimbabwe, during the Zimbabwe crisis of 2000 to 2008. This policy exemplified by President Mbeki, stirred a lot of controversy and elicited great interest from analysts and scholars alike. Ever since its formation in 1912, the ANC has always espoused the notion of equality for all people, regardless of race. However, the ANC seems to have compromised its values and ideologies at the time of the Zimbabwe crisis. The study poses the questions: what are the land issues that made the ANC government of South Africa desist from using its economic leverage to compel the Mugabe regime to embrace democracy and uphold human rights? What land issues led the Mbeki administration to seemingly ignore the plight of white Zimbabwean farmers? The study argues that historical specificity is very crucial in the understanding of relations between African countries, because of a shared colonial experience, protracted attempts at dealing with the colonial legacy of racially - based inequalities, and a sense of racial solidarity arising out of it. It undertakes a background exploration on the historical land policies that led to the land inequalities in the era of full democracy in the two countries . .It also examines post - colonial land policy and reform in the two countries, explaining how the land question led to Mbeki's policy on Zimbabwe. The study also acknowledges other interests that possibly motivated Mbeki's Zimbabwe policy - interests which were pursued under the guise of land reform. Finally, the study looks at the means and methods employed by South Africa in its engagement with Zimbabwe and the impact of South Africa's Zimbabwe policy on the two countries. The study is basically a library - based research that utilized both primary and secondary data. Secondary data sources included books, articles in scholarlyrjoumals and periodicals. The primary data included South African and Zimbabwean government ,papers and reports, obtained through internet research. These were very crucial in analyzing the land reform processes and outcomes in the two countries. Other primary data was obtained from the websites of newspapers published online (Metro Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Times and Sunday Times). These were the responses of Zimbabwean and South African bloggers to articles on Mbeki's Zimbabwe policy, geared towards getting their perspectives on the policy. It is guided by the constructivist theory of international relations that argues that international politics is shaped by persuasive ideas, collective values, culture, and social identities. By 'ideas' constructivists refer to the goals, threats, fears and other elements of perceived reality that influence state and non - state actors within the international system.