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ZANU


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(Zimbabwe African National Union)

A Zimbabwean political party formed in 1963 by disenchanted members of Nkrumah's Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) in reaction to its moderate policies towards White minority rule in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Led by Mugabe, its guerrilla organization, ZANLA (Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army), became the most important oppositional force in the Zimbabwean Civil War during the 1970s. During this time, ZANU managed to rally behind it the overwhelming support of the Shona people, the largest ethnic community in Rhodesia. It cooperated with the ZAPU in the Patriotic Front (PF) from 1976, but contested separately the 1980 elections leading up to independence, from which it emerged with a large majority. It remained the principal party of government until December 1987, when its integration of Nkomo's ZAPU to form ZANU‐PF effectively transformed it into the single party of the country. In elections in 2008, it lost control of parliament to the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), but it still retains power under the presidency of Mugabe who is obstructing the implementation of a power‐sharing agreement with the MDC.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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