Behind the Smokescreen

The Politics of Zimbabwe's 1995 General Elections

Daniel Compagnon & John Mw Makumbe



Beyond the 1995 electoral results - considered from the outset a foregone conclusion - the study analyses the Zimbabwe elections as a process, in order to provide a deeper understanding of how the ruling elite - the ZANU-PF - uses the electoral process and pretences of fairness and democracy to maintain authoritarian rule; and argues that the electoral process itself may be considered an indicator of entrenched political domination. At evey level the study intends to redress propagandist or naive perceptions of realities of contemporary Zimbabwean politics.


Makumbe and Compagnon's study of the 1995 Zimbabwe general election is that rare creature - a monographic study of an African election. While it might have benefited from some editorial pruning, it is a comprehensive and critical study. Sarah Rich Dorman, African Affairs


Daniel Compagnon is Professor of Political Science at the University of Bordeaux and coauthor of Behind the Smokescreen: The Politics of Zimbabwe's 1995 General Elections.

Prof. John Makumbe was a renowned Zimbabwean academic, researcher and politician.