Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front) has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister, and then as President from 1988.

In 1988, the opposition Zimbabwe African People's Union, (ZAPU), led by Joshua Nkomo, merged with ZANU PF, in what was seen as a step towards a one party state.

Officially, ZANU-PF is socialist in ideology, and is modelled on communist parties in other countries, having had close links with the communist regime North Korea and formerly with the Ceausescu regime in Romania. Members have the title 'Comrade', and the party has a Central Committee and a Politburo.

In reality, the party was more pragmatic, acknowledging the importance of a mixed economy. However, Mugabe has since pursued a more dogmatic approach on the issue of land redistribution, forcibly acquiring large farms, usually owned by the white minority. Officially, this is for the benefit of landless black peasants, but critics of this policy argue that it is more for the benefit of Mugabe's political allies.