Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

State crimes in Zimbabwe, from Mugabe to the new dispensation, a case of old wine in different bottles.

Silika, Keith


Keith Silika


When the November 2017 coup occurred in Zimbabwe, there was a pseudo renewed optimism and euphoria over new prospects for the country. Zimbabwe, a former British colony, had lived in the perpetual shadow of Robert Mugabe, the man who had ruled the country since independence in 1980. During his tenure that lasted 37 years, his government committed various democides resulting in the deaths of thousands of people and millions of people migrated out of the country. The government under President Emmerson Mnangagwa has for the past few years claimed that they are a “new dispensation” or “second republic.” This being an attempt to break away from the authoritarian rule under Mugabe. Events that followed the coup and the de facto situation appear to suggest that nothing has changed since the state crimes under the Mugabe regime. It would appear, based on the evidence espoused, that some tactics have been adopted and remodelled by the present government. The purpose of the paper is to outline various state crimes including, political violence, state capture of religious sects and judiciary, persecution of dissent, electoral fraud, and lawfare that President Mnangagwa regime have perpetrated. These facets, in addition to the use of propaganda been deployed and utilised against citizens to perpetuate President Mnangagwa’s grip on power. Finally, the paper will position if the Mnangagwa regime can be viewed within the context of “a new dispensation” as they claim, or just old wine in different bottles.

Key words: state crime; human rights abuses; political violence; lawfare; new dispensation.


Silika, K. (2023). State crimes in Zimbabwe, from Mugabe to the new dispensation, a case of old wine in different bottles

Digital Artefact Type Website Content
Acceptance Date Jun 27, 2023
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2023
Publication Date Sep 30, 2023
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2024
Publisher URL

You might also like

Downloadable Citations