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Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front
The Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has been the ruling party in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980, led by Robert Mugabe, first as Prime Minister with the party simply known as ZANU, and then as President from 1988 after taking over ZAPU and renaming the party ZANU-PF.
Zimbabwe African National Union
Zimbabwe African National Union was a party founded by Ndabaningi Sithole and Herbert Chitepo in 1963. On 18 March 1975 Herbert Chitepo was assassinated in Lusaka and Mugabe was nominated to lead ZANU. Later that year there was a factional split along tribal lines, and the Ndebele followed Sitole into the moderate Zanu (Ndonga) party, who renounced violent struggle, while the Shona followed Mugabe with a more militant agenda. ZANU allied itself with the Zimbabwe African People's Union in the Patriotic Front, but they split after achieving majority rule. Mugabe won the 1980 elections.
In 1988 after 8 years of low-level civil war termed Gukurahundi, the opposition Zimbabwe African People's Union, (ZAPU), led by Joshua Nkomo, merged with ZANU to form Zanu-PF with the added moniker of Patriotic Front, 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. In reality, the party was more pragmatic, acknowledging the importance of a mixed economy.
In recent years, Mugabe pursued a policy of acquiring large farms, usually owned by the white minority, and redistributing them to landless black peasants, pursuing Land reform in Zimbabwe. He has also faced a major political challenge from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
At the December 2004 five-year conference, Joyce Mujuru, a Zezeru Shona like Mugabe and whose husband is the retired head of the armed forces, was elevated to the first woman vice-president of the party, at the expense of contender Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and his backer Jonathan Moyo the Information minister.
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