Settlers, Sell-outs and Sons of the Soil: The Creation of Aliens in Zimbabwe and the Challenge for Higher Education

Munyaradzi Hwami


The contemporary colonial world is witnessing struggles for domination and existence that have led to exclusion of some groups on the basis of parameters defined by the powerful. This contribution observes practices and policies of belonging and exclusion developing in Zimbabwe and argues that higher education should take the lead in discussing and proposing citizenship education that would produce cosmopolitan patriots, responsible and tolerant citizens. The discussion is a critical discourse analysis of dominant colonial forces of authoritarian nationalism and neoliberalism supplemented by personal experience and engagement with students and faculty at the Great Zimbabwe University. What has been observed is the failure of civil society and state led programmes in this endeavour and the honours rests with higher education institutions to develop citizenship education rooted in ideals that critique hegemonic discourses. This demands a change in perspectival foci and this study advances the adoption of anti-colonial liberationist perspectives as one of the options if an end to classification of citizens as aliens and patriots is to come to an end.

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