Review: Zimbabwe’s Lost Decade

Zimbabwe’s Lost Decade by Lloyd Sachikonye

Reviewed by

Rosetta Codling in the National European Literary Scene Examiner

9 June, 2012

The author of Zimbabwe’s Lost Decade offers a ‘beginners course’ in African, Political Science. In fact, the historical fiber of this work is intertextual. Sachikonye demonstrates the impact of South African politics upon the canvas of African politics, in general. The terms nationalism, white supremacy, tribalism, authoritarianism, and political reconciliation are defined and addressed by the author (with application to Africa). The reader, also, finds that Sachikonye informs Westerners that you need be concerned about his country. Why? Zimbabwe’s challenges impact upon the business and politics of many Western, foreign nations.

Slowly, you become aware that Western democracy cannot be imported and replicated in every nation (Africa included). Realistically, foreign investments are the ‘life blood’ of Africa. The author takes great care to aid the reader to see this. Involuntarily, Africans must submit to the needs of foreign relations. This kind of submission or repression often sparks coups d’etat and revolutions that alter oil and mineral shipments to the West.

Most of all, the reader finds that land reform is the real issue in Zimbabwe. This issue prompts concern amongst all Zimbabweans. Years of cruelty, inhumane treatment, and the exploitation of the indigenous people are not easily forgotten. Mugabe’s rise to power was built on the wings of ‘things hoped for.’ And the author provides good arguments ‘pro’ and ‘con’ for the contemporary administration in Zimbabwe. Postcolonial embers of poverty exist in a particularly severe form in this African nation. Alas, the level of poverty has risen under this new regime too. The reader sees how solutions are debated. Yet, the reader is aware that no real, effective efforts (past or present) to change things ever occurs.

Critique: Lloyd Sachikonye has written a primer for Third World politics. He realizes that the flaws in Zimbabwe’s government are universal. He does not see the issues in terms of ‘black’ or ‘white.’ This text is far too intellectual, not commercial for that. The author does see that all men are flawed. Therefore, governments are flawed too. Insightfully, Sachikonye demonstrates that petty issues (too often) are given more ‘press.’ The major issues are shrouded from view. Laws are only fragile vessels which direct men/women to be moral. But, politics and policies corrupt weak men. The poor of Zimbabwe are the pawns. Regimes may come and go in Africa. Sadly, Sachikonye guides us all to the reality that the African and Zimbabwean poor will always be with us. Western readers, we must assume responsibility for some of the tragic occurrences. Our apathetic nature is a force that inhibits change.