When A State Turns On Its Citizens

Institutionalised Violence and Political Culture

Lloyd Sachikonye



When A State Turns On Its Citizens traces the roots of Zimbabwe's contemporary violence to the actions of the Rhodesian armed forces, and the inter-party conflicts that occurred during the liberation war. His focus, however, is the period since 2000, which has seen state-sponsored violence erupting in election campaigns and throughout the programme of fast-track land reform. The consequences of this violence run wide and deep. Aside from inflicting trauma and fear on its victims, the impunity enjoyed by its perpetrators has helped to mould a culture within which personal freedoms and dreams are strangled. Sachikonye concludes that any future quest for justice and reconciliation will depend on the country facing up to the truth about the violence and hatred that have infected its past and present.


[Sachikonye] has an outstanding record of research and writing on Zimbabwe .... He has never shunned the awkward themes and has spoken truth to power. - LUCAS Bulletin


Lloyd Sachikonye is Associate Professor at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Zimbabwe where he has worked as a researcher and lecturer since 1983.