Crisis, State and Accumulation in Zimbabwe

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Tapping into the Chaos

The conjunctural dynamics of the Zimbabwe crisis after 2000 have produced a distinctive pattern of accumulation.

Four features are noticeable in this pattern – firstly; disorder and/or violence has become common, both as a general feature and driver of wealth accumulation and the political project accompanying it.

Secondly; the State has increasingly become more central and pervasive in driving accumulation and in the distribution of both economic and political goods.

Thirdly, the crisis has awakened, reinforced and reshaped a distinctive acquisitive culture peculiar to the period in question, albeit resonating with the historical formation of Zimbabwe’s ruling elite.

Lastly, the current crisis has modified and reinforced a culture of ‘strategic contradictions’ within ZANU-PF.

This work analyses Zimbabwe’s ‘political economy of crisis’ in the post 2000 period.

Using a broad combination of a contextual analysis and a close case-study of informal gold mining it examines how the Zimbabwean ruling elite and those connected to the state have benefited from the unregulated forms of accumulation attending the Zimbabwean crisis.

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