The Politics of State Capture in Zimbabwe

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue II, February 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

The Politics of State Capture in Zimbabwe

Teddy Mungwari

PhD, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Language & Communication Studies, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Zimbabwe

Abstract:-This article demonstrates that Zimbabwe experiences serious problems of state capture. State capture began to be an issue in 2017 when factionalism between Team Lacoste and Generation 40(G40) reached its climax. However, state capture became topical in Zimbabwe in October 2018 following Reserve Bank Governor’s (RBZ) announcement of interventions through the 2018 mid–term monetary policy statement, particularly the 2% tax; which immediately triggered price increases and fuel crisis. The research question addressed in this article is: What is state capture and how is it manifested in Zimbabwe? Firstly, it systematically unpacks the phenomenon as a type of business- state relationship distinct from influence and corruption and outlines its types, features and essence. Secondly, the article explores state capture in contemporary Zimbabwe- focusing on the mining, banking, energy (fuel), agricultural sectors, government ministries (legislature, state media and judiciary), the security sector and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. The methodology and theoretical framework adopted in this study involves qualitative political economy approach. A combination of current research reports, analysis of newspaper articles and social media to illuminate the phenomenon and its manifestations. The article contributes to existing knowledge by not only clarifying a concept conflated with corruption but also analyzing the manifestations of state capture in Zimbabwe.

Key Words: State capture, corruption, media, manifestations, factionalism


The phenomenon of state capture was identified at the dawn of the new millennium (Hellman, Jones & Kaufmann, 2000a) as an aberration in governance. State capture became topical in Zimbabwean political discourse in 2017. There was power struggle to succeed former President Robert Mugabe within ZANU PF between two factions, Team Lacoste (which backed Mnangagwa) and G40 (which supported former First Lady, Grace Mugabe).The then Higher Education Minister, Jonathan Moyo, Savior Kasukuwere then National Political Commissar and Minister of Local Government and Patrick Zhuwau then Minister of Youth, backed Grace Mugabe to succeed Robert Mugabe.

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