Multi Narratives of the Chimurenga? A Comparative Analysis of Zimbabwe's Relations with Angola and Botswana During the Zimbabwean Crisis, 2000-201
No careful study into the politics of Zimbabwe can ignore the celebrated discourse of the Chimurenga as an important guideline into the formulation and execution of the country's foreign policy. The beginning of the 2000s saw change in the political economy of Zimbabwe that subsequently led to the diplomatic fall-out between Zimbabwe and the West. In response to what was presented, by the ZANU-PF government, as the extension of imperialism by the West, the ruling party embarked on the revival of the Chimurenga that saw its foreign policy in Southern Africa aimed at strengthening regional solidarity amongst former liberation movements particularly in Angola. Be that as it was the same could not be said of the relations between Zimbabwe and Botswana in making sense of the Chimurenga that was interpreted by Gaborone as exhausted nationalism that was responsible for the advent of an economic and political crisis at unimaginable proportions. The paper argues that since independence Zimbabwe's foreign policy has been largely influenced by the Chimurenga discourse and that the crisis in the country was an ample opportunity for ZANU-PF to amplify this ideology however divided Southern Africa in making sense of it.