Opposition and Collective Identity in Zimbabwe
Chapter 5 addresses the process by which the Zimbabwean labor movement moved from ally to adversary. As in other African countries, the implementation of economic structural adjustment in Zimbabwe in the 1990s yielded popular protest and increased strike activity. During this period, the trade unions congress forged links with other civil society actors, it organized ever-larger segments of the formal and informal workforce, and it assembled a network that reached far beyond unionized workers. The chapter charts these important changes, and it also discusses the organization and tactics used by the late 1990s constitutional movement, in which labor leaders played a prominent role. The chapter closes with an account of the early preparatory steps that led to the formation of the labor-backed Movement for Democratic Change, a political party, in 1999.
Keywords: Zimbabwe, opposition parties, strikes, popular protest, constitutional reform, Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
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