The establishment of legal institutions was a key part of the process of state construction in Africa, and these institutions have played a crucial role in the projection of state authority across space. This is especially the case in colonial and postcolonial Zimbabwe. George Karekwaivanane offers a unique long-term study of law and politics in Zimbabwe, which examines how the law was used in the constitution and contestation of state power across the late-colonial and postcolonial periods. Through this, he offers insight on recent debates about judicial independence, adherence to human rights, and the observation of the rule of law in contemporary Zimbabwean politics. The book sheds light on the prominent place that law has assumed in Zimbabwe's recent political struggles for those researching the history of the state and power in Southern Africa. It also carries forward important debates on the role of law in state-making, and will also appeal to those interested in African legal history.
George Karekwaivanane is a Lecturer in African Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has previously published in journals including Africa: The Journal of the International African Institute, Politique Africaine and the Journal of Southern African Studies. His article in the Journal of Southern African Studies was awarded the 2011 Terence Ranger Prize, and his Ph.D. thesis was awarded the Audrey Richards runner-up prize by the African Studies Association UK in 2014.
List of figures; List of tables; Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Laying down the law: a historical background, 1890-1950; 2. Customising justice and constructing subjects: state, 'customary law' and Chiefs' Courts, 1950-1980; 3. Legislating against dissent: law, race and politics, 1950-1964; 4. Legality without legitimacy: law and politics during UDI, 1965-1980; 5. Intermediaries, intellectuals and translators: African lawyers and the struggles in the legal arena, 1950-1980; 6. Law and transformation: remaking the legal system in postcolonial Zimbabwe, 1980-1990; 7. Continuity and consolidation: law and politics in Zimbabwe, 1980-1990; 8. 'The past as prologue': law and politics in Zimbabwe, 1997-2008; Conclusion; Bibliography.