This thesis is meant to examine how Zimbabwe became an authoritarian nation. A
country is not predestined toward democracy or dictatorship. Rather, there are multiple complexities throughout a country’s history that need to be addressed in order to assess what led to the nation’s current state of affairs.
ZANU-PF is currently the ruling party of Zimbabwe and it has been since the country’s independence in 1980. Although the country is constitutionally democratic, Robert Mugabe ruled the country for nearly thirty years, only to be ousted in a military coup. Mugabe oversaw a number of questionable policy moves and guided the country through constitutional reform wherein he was able to secure more power. Fellow party member and former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeded Mugabe. The political future of the country still remains unclear.
This paper will analyze the history of Zimbabwe and identify the recurring themes of racism that ultimately led to Mugabe’s ascension to power and his effect on the country. I will identify the founding of Rhodesia in the late nineteenth century by Cecil Rhodes and his impact on the build-up to the Unilateral Declaration of Independence of 1965. The main purpose of my study is to identify the progression of instability in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe by looking at the country’s social and political turmoil as a result of racism by the white leadership, leading to the instability that is a major theme to this day.