Zimbabwe's Predatory State

Party, Military and Business

Jabusile Shumba


By the dawn of independence in 1980, Zimbabwe had one of the most structurally developed economies and state systems in Africa and was classified as a middle-income country. In 1980, Zimbabwe’s GDP per capita was almost equal to that of China. More than 30 years later, Zimbabwe had regressed to a country with a GDP per capita among the lowest in the world. With these dark economic conditions, discussions concerning structural problems of a country once cited as Africa’s best potential are reignited. Shumba interrogates the party, military and business complex, modes of accumulation across key economic sectors and implications for development outcomes.


[Shumba’s] analysis of Zimbabwe’s long structured rent-seeking modes of accumulation is simultaneously straightforward and sobering. Zimbabwe’s Predatory State slices incisively into the intricately meshed networks of Zimbabwe’s ruling party and military apparatuses with the business of mining, agriculture, finance, energy and transport across the country’s political economy. - David Moore, Daily Maverick


Jabusile M. Shumba is a Political Economic Analyst and currently works for the Embassy of Canada to Zimbabwe, Botswana and Angola.