Living the Life of a Social Movement: Evidence from the National Constitutional Assembly in Zimbabwe

Jephias Mapuva


Activism has been most prevalent in Zimbabwe, especially towards 1990s when the country faced democratic decay. This gave rise to an unprecedented emergence of pro-democracy civil society organisations in the country, among such social movements, one of which was the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) whose major thrust was engagement in the constitutional reform debate. This was on the backdrop of an increasingly despotic state, which sought to water down the efforts of the NCA in campaigning for the writing of a new national constitution for the country. A social movement by definition involves the metamorphosis of a civic group from its formation up to the time when it achieves its objective (s) and either changes course or fizzles out into oblivion. For the NCA, this paper seeks to show the various metamorphic stages up to the time when a new constitution was written and the organisations transformed into a political party.

Keywords: Zimbabwe, Social Movement, Constitution, Democracy, Development


Jephias Mapuva, Professor, Bindura University of Science Education Email:

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