Africa Notes: Zimbabwe: A Status Report - November 1988
November 16, 1988
Zimbabwe embodies to an unusually high degree the old truth that actions speak louder than words. Taken at face value, the image projected by official rhetoric is that of an anti-Western "Marxist-Leninist" state, intent on one-party "socialism" at home and confrontation with South Africa abroad. The reality is very different and much more complex.
Zimbabwe's economic, regional, and foreign policies are a mixture of pragmatism, caution, and muddle, overlaid with a barrage of strident rhetoric. In domestic power politics, the rhetoric of popular participation masks a sadder reality. What all this adds up to is that Zimbabwe is an African country, dealing with African problems in an African way – not a clone of either East or West.