‘We have not made anybody homeless’: Urban development, citizenship, and the Zimbabwean state

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Abstract

In May and June 2005, thousands of Zimbabweans were brutally displaced from urban areas. But ‘Operation Murambatsvina’ was not simply an unpredictable‘tsunami,’ rather it provides a moment in which long-held prejudices and assumptions which shaped the developmental state became visible, reflecting not just the internalisation of the Rhodesian, modernist world-view, but also its imbrication with local understandings of home and home-ness. To see Murambatsvina as simply apolitically expedient move is to miss the deep resonance of the political rhetoric, the ways it was embedded in the state, and how it is shaped by norms of citizenship.Contextualised against Harare’s urban politics, the clearances reveal a long-standing set of policies designed to regulate and control urban life, forming part of a broader crisis of the post-colonial developmental state.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-98
JournalCitizenship Studies
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online date6 Aug 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016

Keywords

  • citizenship
  • urban
  • Harare
  • Zimbabwe
  • belonging
  • autochthony
  • clearances
  • informality

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