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Zimbabwe's new conjuncture and SA's new xenophobia, 6 February

Speakers: Nhamo Chikowore and China Ngubane
Date: Friday, 6 February 2015
Time: 12:30-14:00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, UKZN

The self-destruction now underway in Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu(PF), is unprecedented in its history, dating more than 50 years. In this context, political parties and their splinters are contesting for revitalised organisational alliances and improved relations with civil society. But the country's economic degeneration is palpable. Worsening fiscal crisis and financial industry stresses are anticipated, notwithstanding increased military-related investment by Chinese and Russians in the diamonds and platinum sectors. This new, more dangerous conjuncture comes as Robert Mugabe signals a succession plan involving his new vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa and his wife Grace. But whether the coming arrangement of power in Zimbabwe can be steadily maintained will depend upon both internal legitimacy - always in question - and economic hope. With both lacking, the plight of Zimbabwe's millions of refugees will remain acute. The refugees remain concerned about the renewed threat of xenophobic attacks against Zimbabweans in South Africa, and the SA Department of Home Affairs' more stringent immigration policies. Solidarity with ordinary Zimbabweans has never been more important, though without a major challenge to state power, that solidarity is more difficult to drum up in a South Africa itself subject to political turmoil and multiple working-class anxieties.

Nhamo Chikowore is a leader of the Zimbabwe migrant community and China Ngubane directs CCS's Dennis Brutus Community Scholars Programme.

 Other seminar programmes
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