Original Research

Narratives and interpretations of the political economy of Zimbabwe’s development aid trajectory, 1980–2013

Blessing Magocha, Edmore Mutekwe
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 17, No 1 | a896 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v17i1.896 | © 2021 Blessing Magocha, Edmore Mutekwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 June 2020 | Published: 04 February 2021

About the author(s)

Blessing Magocha, Department of Development Studies, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Edmore Mutekwe, School of Professional Studies in Education, Faculty of Education, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa


The purpose of this conceptual study is to analyse the political economy of Zimbabwe’s development aid trajectory from 1980 to 2013. The discussion unfolds around four historical epochs: colonial legacy, land and independence from 1980 to 1990; the Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP) 1991–2000; The Multi-Party Democracy period 2001–2008 and the Government of National Unity (GNU) 2008–2013. In doing so, the discourse offers a critical discussion of the factors that have characterised the flow of aid to Zimbabwe. It also explores the historical, socio-economic and political events that shaped development policies and outcomes in Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2013. The study also explores the scale, interaction and impact of aid flow to Zimbabwe. This study is purely qualitative and uses documentary reviews as part of the literature review to extrapolate the relevant data. In this study, we argue that the flow of aid is politically motivated. The study recommends that the Zimbabwean government should come up with a robust aid coordination policy in order to fully guide the inflow of donor aid.


aid; development; political economy; aid policy; Zimbabwe


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