Violence, Politics and Conflict Management in Africa
416 Pages
English
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Violence, Politics and Conflict Management in Africa

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Gain access to the library to view online
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416 Pages
English

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This volume critically interrogates, from different angles and dimensions, the resilience of conflict and violence into 21st century Africa. The demise of European colonial administration in Africa in the 1960s wielded fervent hope for enduring peace for the people of Africa. Regrettably, conflict alongside violence in all its dimensions – physical, religious, political, psychological and structural – remain unabated and occupy central stage in contemporary Africa. The resilience of conflict and violence on the continental scene invokes unsettling memories of the past while negatively influencing the present and future of crafting inclusive citizenship and statehood.
The book provides fresh insightful ethnographic and intellectual material for rethinking violence and conflict, and for fostering long-lasting peace and political justice on the continent and beyond. With its penetrating focus on conflict and associated trajectories of violence in Africa, the book is an inestimable asset for conflict management practitioners, political scientists, historians, civil society activists and leaders in economics and politics as well as all those interested in the affairs of Africa.

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Published 01 September 2016
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EAN13 9789956764488
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EDITED BY
VIOLENCE, POLITICS and CONFLICT MANAGEMENT in AFRICA:
Munyaradzi Mawere &
Envisioning Transformation, Peace and Unity in the Twenty-First Century
Ngonidzashe Marongwe
VIOLENCE, POLITICS
and CONFLICT This volume critically interrogates, from different angles and dimensions,
the resilience of conflict and violence into 21st century Africa. The demise
of European colonial administration in Africa in the 1960s wielded fervent MANAGEMENT in AFRICA:
hope for enduring peace for the people of Africa. Regrettably, conflict
alongside violence in all its dimensions – physical, religious, political,
psychological and structural – remain unabated and occupy central stage Envisioning Transformation, Peace and
in contemporary Africa. The resilience of conflict and violence on the
continental scene invokes unsettling memories of the past while negatively Unity in the Twenty-First Century
influencing the present and future of crafting inclusive citizenship
and statehood. The book provides fresh insightful ethnographic and
intellectual material for rethinking violence and conflict, and for fostering
long-lasting peace and political justice on the continent and beyond. With
its penetrating focus on conflict and associated trajectories of violence
in Africa, the book is an inestimable asset for conflict management
practitioners, political scientists, historians, civil society activists and
leaders in economics and politics as well as all those interested in the
affairs of Africa.
MUNYARADZI MAWERE holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from
the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He is currently professor
in the Department of Culture and Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe
University.
NGONIDZASHE MARONGWE holds a PhD in African History
from the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. He lectures in
the Department of History and Development Studies, Joshua Nkomo
School of Arts and Humanities, Great Zimbabwe University, Masvingo
City, Zimbabwe.
Langaa Research & Publishing EDITED BYCommon Initiative Group
P.O. Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda Munyaradzi Mawere &
North West Region
Cameroon Ngonidzashe Marongwe

Violence, Politics and Conflict
Management in Africa:
Envisioning Transformation,
Peace and Unity in the
Twenty-First Century




Edited by

Munyaradzi Mawere
&
Ngonidzashe Marongwe














Langaa Research & Publishing CIG
Mankon, Bamenda Publisher:
Langaa RPCIG
Langaa Research & Publishing Common Initiative Group
P.O. Box 902 Mankon
Bamenda
North West Region
Cameroon
Langaagrp@gmail.com
www.langaa-rpcig.net



Distributed in and outside N. America by African Books Collective
orders@africanbookscollective.com
www.africanbookscollective.com





ISBN: 9956-763-54-3

© Munyaradzi Mawere & Ngonidzashe Marongwe 2016






All rights reserved.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or be
stored in any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission
from the publisher







Contributors


Munyaradzi Mawere holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the
University of Cape Town (UCT) in South Africa. Professor Mawere
also holds a Master’s Degree in Social Anthropology from UCT, a
Master’s Degree in Philosophy and B. A. (Hons) Degree in
Philosophy from the University of Zimbabwe. He is currently
Professor in the Department of Culture and Heritage Studies at Great
Zimbabwe University. Before joining this university, Professor
Mawere was a lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe and at
Universidade Pedagogica, Mozambique, where he has worked in
different capacities as a Senior lecturer, Assistant Research Director,
Postgraduate Co-ordinator and Associate Professor. He has an
outstanding publishing record of more than one hundred and twenty
pieces of work which include more than twenty-five books and over
a hundred book chapters and papers in scholarly journals. Professor
Mawere has published extensively on poverty and community
development, knowledge studies, political anthropology, science and
technology studies (STS), environment and agrarian issues,
democracy and African states, coloniality, decoloniality and
transformation, African philosophy and political systems, culture and
heritage studies. Some of his bestselling books are: Humans, Other
Beings and the Environment: Harurwa (Edible stinkbugs) and Environmental
Conservation in South-eastern Zimbabwe (2015); Democracy, Good Governance
and Development in Africa: A Search for Sustainable Democracy and
Development, (2015); Culture, Indigenous Knowledge and Development in
Africa: Reviving Interconnections for Sustainable Development (2014);
Harnessing Cultural Capital for Sustainability: A Pan Africanist Perspective
(2015); Divining the Future of Africa: Healing the Wounds, Restoring Dignity
and Fostering Development (2014); African Cultures, Memory and Space:
Living the Past Presence in Zimbabwean Heritage (2014); African Philosophy
and Thought Systems: A Search for a Culture and Philosophy of Belonging
(2016); Colonial Heritage, Memory and Sustainability in Africa: Challenges,
Opportunities and Prospects (2016) and; Theory, Knowledge, Development and
Politics: What Role for the Academy in the Sustainability of Africa? (2016).

Ngonidzashe Marongwe is a lecturer in the History and
Development Studies Department, Joshua Nkomo School of Arts
and Humanities, Great Zimbabwe University located in Masvingo
City, Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in African History from the University of the Western Cape (UWC), South Africa. He is a past
Andrew Mellon Foundation Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for
Humanities Research, UWC (2009–2010 & 2012); and a SEPHIS
fellow at the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society, Bangalore,
India (2011). His research interests include African governance,
political violence, gender, military history and terrorism.

Mirjam van Reisen is currently Professor of Computing for Society
at Leiden Centre for Data Science at the University of Leiden. She is
also Professor of International Relations, Innovation and Care at
Tilburg University. Professor van Reisen is the Director of Europe
External Programme (EEPA) with Africa based in Brussels. She is a
member of the Dutch Advisory Council on International Affairs
(AIV) and Chair of the Development Assistance Committe (COS).
Besides, Professor van Reisen is a member of the Board of Philips
Foundation, the Dutch Development Organisations and
Transnational Institute. In 2012, Professor van Reisen received the
Golden Image Award from President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. She is
an expert on EU-Africa relations and has published extensively on
ICT innovation, migration, social security, gender, energy and
community development, human trafficking, peace building,
diplomacy and international relations, technology and innovation.
Some of her books include: Women’s leadership and Peace-building:
Conflict, community and care (2014); The human trafficking cycle: Sinai and
beyond (2014); Refugees between life and death: Human trafficking in the Sinai
(2012); Window of opportunity: European Development Cooperation after the
end of the cold war (2009); and EU global player (2000).

Artwell Nhemachena holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from
the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Dr Nhemachena has
studied Sociology and Social Anthropology. He has lectured at
several universities in Zimbabwe including the University of
Zimbabwe, Women’s University in Africa and Great Zimbabwe
University before pursuing Ph.D studies in South Africa. His current
areas of interest include Indigenous Knowledge Systems,
Environment, Democratic Governance, Social Theory from the
South, Decoloniality and Transformation, African Jurisprudence,
Human Security, Food Security and Food Sovereignty, Conflict and
Violence, Poverty and Development, Science and Technology
Studies. He has published on Democracy, Environment, Indigenous
Knowledge, Decoloniality, Health, Resilience and Theory.
EHIABHI Odion Simon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of
History and International Studies, Adekunle Ajasin University,
Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria. He holds the following
degrees: Bachelor of Arts (History), Master in International History
& Diplomacy (MIHD), Master of Arts (History), and Doctor of
Philosophy (History) all from the University of Benin, Nigeria. He
has over twenty seven publications to his credit and has attended
several academic conferences within and outside the African
continents. He was one of the recipients of the African Studies
Association, United Kingdom (ASAUK) Travel Fellowship to attend
writing workshop for African scholars, at Osun State University,
Osogbo, Nigeria between 14th and 16th September, 2011. His main
area of research focus is on African socio-political and diplomatic
history with broader international dimensions.

Fidelis Peter Thomas Duri
Fidelis Peter Thomas Duri is a lecturer in the Department of History
and Development Studies at Great Zimbabwe University. He is a
holder of a PhD in History from the University of the Witwatersrand
in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has published a number of books
and articles which focus on environmental history, socio-cultural
dynamics, subaltern struggles, African border studies and politics in
Zimbabwe during the colonial and post-colonial periods. He has also
reviewed and edited a number of scholarly books and articles and is
also a member of the editorial boards of international journals such
as the Zimbabwe Journal of Historical Studies and the International Journal
of Developing Societies.

Thomas Fox is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at
the University of Namibia, and is Honorary Research Fellow at
University of Stellenbosch where he undertook his PhD. This was on
the topic of media and identity formation in Windhoek which
investigated matters of mediatization and power receptions of youth.
He teaches and researches in the areas of media cultures, social
theory, development studies and political sociology. He formerly
taught at Kingston and South Bank Universities (UK), and Birkbeck
College at the University of London. He has published in Namibia
and internationally. His recent publications are Namibia’s Emergent
Transculturalism at the African Global Borderlands (2014), Ethnicity
in Discourse (2015, with Gerald Stell), and Confronting the Global
(2016). He is co-author of the book Namibia Society Sociology
(2005). Takavafira Masarira Zhou is an environmental historian, a Lemba,
trade unionist, educationist and Human Rights defender. He is a
holder of B.A. General, B.A. Special Honours in History, Masters in
African History, Graduate Certificate in Education, and D. Phil in
Environmental History from the University of Zimbabwe. He was a
Teaching Assistant in the History Department at the University of
Zimbabwe (1991-1995), a History Lecturer at Mutare Teachers’
college (2002-2004), and a part-time History Lecturer at Africa
University (2002-2004). He joined Great Zimbabwe University in
2004 as a History Lecturer and had by the time of his departure in
2008 helped to transform the history subject area into the department
of History and Development Studies. He was a technical advisor
(researcher) in Zimbabwe Constitution Select Committee
(20102011) that produced Zimbabwe’s new Constitution in 2013. He was
also a member of the National Education Advisory Board
(20092013) that among other things helped the then Ministry of
Education, Sports, Arts and Culture in strategic planning, resource
mobilisation and policy formulation during the period of Inclusive
Government. Currently he is the president of the Progressive
Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe, and treasurer of the Non Aligned
Teachers’ Unions of Southern Africa (ANTUSA). He has presented
various papers at conferences in Zimbabwe, Africa, Europe and Asia.
He has also published on African agriculture; white settler farming;
environmental impact of mining in Zimbabwe; peace and security in
Africa; History curricula changes in Zimbabwe; teacher education;
and general history and politics of Zimbabwe.

CostainTandi is a High school teacher for Advanced level History
and Sociology as well as Head of Department (Humanities) at Rufaro
High School, Chatsworth, Zimbabwe. He holds a Masters Degree in
Development Studies from Midlands State University, Bachelor of
thArts 4 year Honors (History) from Great Zimbabwe University,
Bachelor of Arts General Degree from the University of Zimbabwe,
Graduate Certificate in Education from Great Zimbabwe University,
An Executive certificate in Program and Project Monitoring and
Evaluation from the University of Zimbabwe and An Executive
Certificate in Project Management from the University of Zimbabwe.
His research interests include but not limited to Indigenous
Knowledge systems, Climate change and Variability, Rural poverty,
agriculture and community development.
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Nkwazi Mhango is the author of SaayaUkombozi, NyumayaPazia,
Souls on Sale, Born with Voice and Africa Reunite or Perish, a poet, teacher,
columnist, Journalist, Peace and Conflict Scholar, and member of
Writers’ Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) St.
John’s NL, Canada. Also, Mhango is an alumnus of Universities of
Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) Winnipeg and Manitoba (Canada).

Sibangeni Ngono is a History teacher at Ndarama High School in
Masvingo, Zimbabwe. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree
in History from Great Zimbabwe University. She is presently
studying for a Master of Arts Degree in African History at Great
Zimbabwe University. Her future research interest lies in political
history with emphasis on the issues of governance and
governmentality. She is also interested in social history especially the
experiences of ordinary women and minority groups. Partly she can
be described as a feminist as the voice of women in history is of great
academic interest and hopes to bring women issues to the fore. She
hopes to study for a doctorate as soon as she completes her current
studies.

Okewande Oluw ọle T ẹw ọgboye is a PhD holder and lecturer at
the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. His research interests include, but
not limited to indigenous knowledge systems, African political
systems, peace, governance and transformation. He is an author of
several peer-reviewed journals.

Tobias Marevesa is a New Testament lecturer in the Department
of Philosophy and Religious Studies, under the Joshua Nkomo
School of Arts and Humanities at the Great Zimbabwe University
where he teaches New Testament Studies and New Testament
Greek. He is pursuing doctoral studies at the North-West University
in South Africa. His areas of interest are Bible and politics,
Pentecostal expressions in Zimbabwean Christianity, culture, human
rights, and gender-based violence. He has also published in the area
of Bible and conflict-resolution in the Zimbabwean political
landscape. He has attended and presented a number of papers in both
regional and international conferences and has published articles in
reputable international journals. He is a member of Reading
Association of Nigeria (RAN), Association for the Study of Religion
in Southern Africa (ASRSA), African Consortium for Law and
Religion Studies (ACLARS), and International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (ICLARS). He is serving as an External
Examiner in a few Teachers’ Colleges in Zimbabwe.

Gertjan van Stam is a Research Fellow at the Scientific and
Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) of
Zimbabwe. He holds an MTech (cum laude) from Nelson Mandela
Metropolitan University (NMMU) in South Africa. Gertjan and his
family lived in the rural areas of Zimbabwe and Zambia for over 13
years. His broad academic interests focus on the nexus of society and
technology in the so-called periphery with the goal to identify and
inspire local talent and engender local capacity for community-led
activities.

Tapuwa Raymond Mubaya is a Lecturer and a PhD candidate at
Great Zimbabwe University, Faculty of Culture and Heritage Studies.
Before joining Great Zimbabwe University, Mr. Mubaya worked for
National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe (NMMZ) for
eight years as the Curator of Archaeology and Head of the Great
Zimbabwe Monument Conservation Centre. Currently he is heading
the Department of Heritage Studies at Great Zimbabwe University.
Mr Mubaya holds a Master of Arts Degree in Heritage Studies from
the University of Zimbabwe. He is also a member of the Association
of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) and the
Zimbabwe Association of Professional Archaeologists and related
Disciplines (ZAPAD. His current research interests are focussed on
heritage management and conservation, cultural tourism and
museums. Mubaya has written and published fourteen articles in
internationally esteemed scholarly journals and is the co-editor of the
books: African Cultures, Memory and Space: Living the Past Presence in
Zimbabwean Heritage (2014) and Colonial Heritage, Memory and
Sustainability in Africa: Challenges, Opportunities and Prospects (2016); and
co-author of African Philosophy and Thought Systems: A Search for a
Culture and Philosophy of Belonging (2016).

Zacarias Gerrima has worked with the Eritrean State Television,
researching, writing and presenting one of its flagship programmes
named Erena, meaning ‘our Eritrea’. Mainly focused on, but not
limited to, ancient and medieval Eritrean rich cultural, social and
political history, the programme, with its trademark uncovering of
new and interesting historical facts, astute (re)interpretation of main
historical events and refreshingly beautiful language with which it was
delivered had won it a large following. Before he was exiled to Uganda, Zacarias also served as a news anchor for the English
language news programme of the Eritrean state television. In exile,
in addition to working as a freelance journalist, Zacarias is working
as a human rights advocate and as a migration expert. He has a wide
interest ranging from history, to literature, philosophy and theology.

Table of Contents


Chapter One
Beyond the Politics of Power and Violence……………….. 1
Munyaradzi Mawere

Chapter Two
Double-Trouble: Reflections on the
Violence of Absence and the ‘Culpability’
of the Present in Africa……………………………………… 13
Artwell Nhemachena

Chapter Three
War Without End? Terrorism, Policy and
Conflict Management in Africa…………………………….. 53
Thomas Fox

Chapter Four
Violence, Identity and Politics of
Belonging: The April 2015 Afrophobic
Attacks in South Africa and the Emergence
of Some Discourses…………………………………………. 89
Ngonidzashe Marongwe & Munyaradzi Mawere

Chapter Five
Violence, power, politics and (anti-)development
in Africa……………………………………………………… 117
Nkwazi Nkuzi Mhango

Chapter Six
Managing Politics of Knowledge Production
in Africa: Exploiting Indigenous
Knowledge Systems for Increasing
Synergy between Community Development
and Education Sectors sectors……………………………... 151
Costain Tandi; Mawere Munyaradzi; and Tapuwa R. Mubaya
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Chapter Seven
Recognition Politics and Violence in the
Niger Delta Region of Nigeria……………………………... 173
Ehlabhi Odion Simon

Chapter Eight
Envisaged Trends in Post-2016 African
Development Agenda and their Impact
on World Economic System………………………………... 199
Takavafira Masarira Zhou

Chapter Nine
African Indigenous Knowledge as
Panacea for Conflict Management
and Transformation in Africa:
The Cae of Ifa in Nigeria…………………………………… 233
Okewande Oluw ọle T ẹw ọgboye

Chapter Ten
Jerusalem Council (Acts 15:1-35) as a
Model for Conflict Resolution: The Case
of the Global Political Agreement………………………….. 261
in Zimbabwe
Tobias Marevesa

Chapter Eleven
Ubuntu/Unhu as Communal Love:
Critical Reflections on the Sociology of
Ubuntu and Communal Life in sub-Saharan Africa………. 287
Munyaradzi Mawere & Gertjan van Stam

Chapter Twelve
Instrumentalisation of Traditional
Institutions in Xenophobic Violence against
Zimbabweans in Botswana during the
New Millennium……………………………………………. 305
Fidelis Peter Thomas Duri
xii Chapter Thirteen
Problematising Victimhood and Agency:
stWomen and Terrorism in 21 Century Africa……………… 327
Sibangeni Ngono and Fidelis Peter Thomas Duri

Chapter Fourteen
The Order of Things: Changing Identities
in Eritrea through ICTs…………………………………….. 367
Mirjam van Reisen and Zecarias Gerrima

xiii
xiv Chapter One

Beyond the Politics of Power and Violence

Munyaradzi Mawere


“Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are
almost always bad men” (John Acton 1887).

The quotation by the historian-cum-moralist, John Acton implies
that injustice is pervasive in all human societies. This is because
almost all societies have “great men” of their own, who as Acton
believes, are immoral due to the corruption of power and indulgence.
It is these men, either elevated by their people or by self
(selfelevation) that normally play “dirty” politics that more often than not
results in conflict, violent-torn situations, wanton destruction of
property, casualties and death of the innocent. It is these men, who
slobber with the hunger and thirsty of the envious and bigoted
superpower to dominate and control other peoples while thwarting
their human rights to last iota of their hope. Using the law of the
jungle and the Machiavellian type of politics, these great men do
whatever is within their means and power, whether morally good or
condemnable, to satisfy their ego and self-interests. It is this way that
power, especially when politicised, corrupts.
Unfortunately in Africa, such kind of Machiavellian politics is in
sync with what is obtaining at almost all levels of society – from the
grassroots leadership to the national leadership. In fact, politicking,
conflict and violence, either instigated by Africans themselves or by
outsiders – external forces –, have had an endemic presence and an
enduring legacy on the continent, cutting across the different historic
eons and geographic spaces. Various causes, explanations, dynamics
and consequences have been experienced differentially at differing
but devastating moments for Africa and its people. As Sabelo
Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2009) tells us of Zimbabwe, [politicking, conflict and]
violence have been common themes in Africa from the pre-colonial,
colonial and post-colonial moments, though with varying
1 magnitudes. The same observation and concern have prompted
other scholars like Zizek (2008) to focus on the nexus between the
major forms of violence – subjective violence and the two forms of
objective violence, that is, symbolic and systematic violence. For
Zizek, subjective violence is that form of violence which is visible
such as crime and terror, while objective violence is rooted in
language in the form of racism, hate speech and discrimination.
Systematic violence is, on the other hand, found in the economic and
political systems of the world. As Zizek posits, there is a link between
subjective and objective violence, for example, what may be
perceived as irrational (subjective) violence could be rooted in the
objective forms of violence and the passion for universal justice.
It is also imperative to underscore that violence has always
manifested itself multi-dimensionally, implicitly or otherwise, as
violence of conquest, anti-colonial struggles, struggles for access to
resources, physical, psychological, terrorism, xenophobia and
antixenophobic attacks, epistemic, poverty and ethnic tensions, among
others. In the process, violence has on the one hand, invoked
memories of the past and shaped possible directions for the
presentfuture. On the other hand, it has simultaneously produced damaging
consequences and brought about positive effects, in almost equal
measures. This has led to the production of different modes of
engagement and discourses around violence and memory in their
varying dimensions. Among the enduring narratives is the idea that
violence has revolutionary and liberatory qualities; qualities that both
subjugate and liberate. In the Marxist formulation, the violence of the
oppressed has been constructed as a significant handmaiden in
political and socio-economic transformations and transitions.
Although it can be contested, violence alongside memory of the past
has also been viewed as significant in the making and re-making of
African nationalism and African nation-states. In Zimbabwe, in the
context of the farm and industrial takeovers of the new millennium,
for example, violence has been perceived in some way as
redistributive and constitutive of restorative justice. Equally
compelling arguments have been that the various forms of violence
manifesting in Africa, as elsewhere beyond the continent, have bred,
kindled and ignited dramatic waves and sprouted a lot of human
2 rights violations, ethnic tensions, wars, refugees, economic
destruction and plunder, discrimination, and deaths, besides
sluggishly slowing down Africa’s development potentials and
capabilities.
Yet, while a lot has been observed about some of the different
modes of violence and memory in terms of causation, the dynamics
and even the consequences, a lot more interrogation is still needed to
rill in and understand the chicanery waves of xenophobic and
counter-xenophobic attacks, their linkages with mainstream violence;
their enduring [negative] effects on socio-political and economic
development, as well as proffering lasting solutions to this mind
boggling problem that has pervaded the African continent with
unimaginable formidable force in the new millennium than in any
other time before. In post-colonial Africa, arguably, xenophobic
attacks and violence in general are traceable to the late 1960s when
the Busia Government of Ghana enacted the Aliens Compliance
Order that was largely directed against Nigerian immigrants, and in
the early 1980s when Nigerians burned many Ghanaians alive to
force-march them out of Nigeria. In the more recent times, whilst
the prominent xenophobic attacks have emerged from the South
African context and with deleterious effects as witnessed by the
widespread attacks on [ma]kwerekwere “foreigners,” especially of
African descent in 2008 and 2015, other sprouts of xenophobic
attacks have been witnessed in other countries in the region such as
Zambia, Botswana and Namibia. During the attacks in South Africa,
for instance, foreigners of African descent from across the Limpopo
were physically attacked, their businesses looted or destroyed and
their personas pejoratively sneered and derogatorily insulted.
Elsewhere in other regions on the continent, there have been cyclic
attacks of African [indigenous] immigrants by their fellow African
“brothers” and “sisters”. The unfolding of the Arab Spring revolts in
Libya in 2011, for instance, was camouflaged by insinuations of direct
attacks on dark-skinned African immigrants.
Regrettably, for the ordinary people of Africa, little has been done
by both academics and African governments to try to understand the
logic of the root causes and forge lasting and permanent solutions to
curb and purge xenophobia and its associated politics of violence
3 from the continent. More often than not, African governments and
academics, as many other stakeholders, credulously blame
perpetrators of xenophobia and violence in general without delving
deeper into understanding the morphologies and sundry nature of
violence in its many forms, their exact causes and proffer enduring
solutions to efface such nefarious and despicable acts in Africa once
and for all. It is partly for this reason that xenophobia and its
associated violence and politicking have intermittently become an
endemic and enduring reality in Africa ever since the independence
of the continent from the whims of colonialism in the 1960s.
It is from the mental smouldering conflagration and unequivocal
consciousness of the highlighted obtaining reality coupled with the
passion for transformation, enduring peace and unity in Africa and
beyond, that scholars drawn from across disciplines from around the
world, have decided to contribute to this imperative book project,
whose focus centres on the trajectories of nerve-chilling experiences
of xenophobia, memory, violence and the associated politics under
the general theme: “politics, memory, violence and transformation in
Africa”. Though from different geographical and disciplinary
orientations, all the contributors to this volume generally argue for
stthe need for the 21 century Africa to move beyond the politics of
power and violence: they all clarionly call for the need to look for
peace and transformation beyond the visible limit of conflict and
violence. The volume comprises of fourteen chapters, of which the
present chapter is the first one.

A guide through the book

As alluded to above, this book interrogates power dynamics in
the matrices of violence and conflict management in Africa. Chapter
two by Nhemachena critically focuses on identities in both the altern
and sub-altern. It observes that there are celebrations, elsewhere in
the empire, of hybridisation of identities as well as celebrations of the
destruction of African cultures, states, religions, societies, languages
and epistemologies. The hybridisation and destruction of identities,
as Nhemachena observes, are tactics by the empire meant to ensure
unchallenged hegemony by making it difficult for others to recover
4 their battered post-colonial identities. On this note, Nhemachena
argues that, the power and violence on others that empire arrogates,
is not about the purity and innocence of empire because it is also
tainted by holocausts of colonisation and slave-driving. He further
argues in view of corruption that “celebration of the destruction of
African states and other institutions is not about corruption being
present in Africa because empire itself has been in the business of
corruption for centuries; celebrations of the destruction of African
institutions is not about accountability being absent in them because
empire itself has not accounted for its crimes; it is not about human
rights being absent because empire itself has not restored the human
dignity of those it enslaved and colonised; and it is not about equality
being absent because empire itself detests equality with its former
colonies that it continues to exploit”. Basing on these arguments,
Nhemachena’s chapter concludes that “the empire has designed
methods of maintaining a foothold as an absence presence in
postcolonial Africa which like a victim of witchcraft suffers
omissions and commissions of acts inconsistent with its societies and
cultures”.
Fox’s seminal chapter three discusses the causes of regional
security threat in relation to Islamist conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In particular, the chapter focuses on the processes of the emergence
of institutional ideologically driven radical and often violent Islamist
social movements, first in Somalia with the birth of al-Shabaab, and
then in Kenya and Tanzania. Fox is apt to note that poor governance
in many African countries trigger the emergence and propel the
velocity of radical movements in the region. To substantiate this
point, Fox gives the case of Somalia and its so-called ‘state failure,’
which for him, is regarded as an important and substantial element
in the seeding and subsequent acceleration of political terror in
Africa, although not its sole cause. On the same note, Fox makes
reference to the Boko Haram, which has been a threat to regional
security in west-Africa, particularly Nigeria since 2002. With these
examples, Fox thus, argues that “socio-political conditions,
frequently ethnic and religious in character, were important
preconditions that shaped several conflicts that later emerged”.
Besides socio-political and economic conditions, Fox cites poor
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