Cover image for Our votes, our guns : Robert Mugabe and the tragedy of Zimbabwe
Our votes, our guns : Robert Mugabe and the tragedy of Zimbabwe
Meredith, Martin.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, [2002]

Physical Description:
243 pages : 1 map ; 25 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DT3000.M28 M47 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



The story of what Robert Mugabe did to the once-flourishing African state of Zimbabwe: how it happened, why it happened, and its implications for Africa.

Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980 after a long civil war in Rhodesia. The white minority government had become an international outcast in refusing to give in to the inevitability of black majority rule. Finally the defiant white prime minister Ian Smith was forced to step down and Mugabe was elected president of a country now called Zimbabwe. Initially hopes were high that he had the intelligence, political savvy and idealistic vision to help repair the damage done by colonialism and the bitter civil war, and to lead his country's economic and social development. He was admired throughout the world as one of the leaders of the emerging nations and as a model for a good transition from colonial leadership. But month by month, year by year, Mugabe became increasingly autocratic; his methods increasingly violent. In recent years he has unleashed a reign of terror and corruption in his country. Like the Congo, Angola, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, Zimbabwe has been on a steady slide to disaster.

What happened in Zimbabwe? Now for the first time the whole story is told in detail by an expert. It is a riveting and tragic political story, a morality tale, and an essential text for understanding today's Africa.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This journalistic account of the authoritarian regime in Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980 describes how President Robert Mugabe has essentially usurped the authority of the state's institutions, crippled the national economy, and stifled civil society. Pursuing policies that are detrimental to the country, Mugabe insisted on a land redistribution policy ostensibly designed to restore ownership to the African population by removing white farmers, but that obscured the corrupt and effectively bankrupt regime while depriving the African population of the means to make a decent living. Mugabe is unrelenting in his efforts to eradicate any semblance of opposition: he threatens the independent press, tampers with election results, and ignores international sanctions. His ventures into the Democratic Republic of the Congo divert attention from his political problems and further drain his increasingly limited resources. The cumulative effect of these policies also has long-term negative consequences for the neighboring states that are unwilling to criticize Mugabe. This will be a useful book for readers who are not familiar with Zimbabwe, but it offers little that is new or sufficiently analytical for students of African affairs. Public libraries and undergraduate collections. M. E. Doro emerita, Connecticut College

Table of Contents

1 The Priest and the Presidentp. 1
2 The Making of a Revolutionaryp. 19
3 The Honeymoonp. 41
4 Gukurahundip. 59
5 The New Elitep. 77
6 Family Affairsp. 95
7 The Land Issuep. 111
8 Enter the War Veteransp. 133
9 Congo Richesp. 147
10 Chinja Maitiro!p. 159
11 The Invasionsp. 167
12 The Third Chimurengap. 191
13 Real Menp. 209
14 Endgamep. 225
Bibliographyp. 229
Indexp. 233