Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front

Published 6th August, 2013

The Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front or ZANU–PF was founded as a political party in December 1987 but dates back to 1963 when it was just ZANU and was formed as a resistance movement to the white minority government in what was then Rhodesia. The party is left wing by origin although it claims to be more Centre-left today. It believes in African nationalism, Left-wing nationalism and Black Nationalism.

The ZANU-PF has been the governing party since independence in 1980.

In the first elections in 1980 it won 57 of the 100 seats in the House of Assembly and increased this to 64 seats in 1985. In the 1990 election the party won 117 of the 120 available seats and its leader, Robert Mugabe won the first presidential election with 83.05% of the vote.

In 1995 the ZANU-PF did a little better by winning 118 of the 120 seats and Robert Mugabe won the presidential election in 1996 with 92.76% of the vote. By 2000 opposition was growing against the government and in the election of that year the party took 62 of the 120 available seats with the newly emerged opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) taking 57 seats. President Mugabe also had a shock and his percentage of the vote in the 2002 presidential election dropped to 56.2%.

By 2005 the ZANU-PF had exerted its control once more and won 78 seats against the MDCs 41 seats. But in 2008 the party lost control of the House of Assembly for the first time and took just 99 of the 210 seats, forcing it to power share with the MDC.

In the 2008 presidential election Robert Mugabe lost the first round to MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai. But Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round when the level of violence led to more than 250 of his supporters being killed. As a result Robert Mugabe took 85.5% of the vote in an uncontested second round.

In 2013 the ZANU-PF appears to have reversed its previous poor results and took 160 of the 210 seats in the House of Assembly. Robert Mugabe won the presidential election with 61.09% of the vote.

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