Advertisement

Between Remorse and Nostalgia: Haunting Memories of War and the Search for Healing Among Former Zimbabwean Soldiers in Exile in South Africa

  • Godfrey MaringiraEmail author
  • Annemiek Richters
  • Lorena Núňez
Chapter
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS, volume 24)

Abstract

This chapter explores how former Zimbabwean soldiers who deserted or resigned from the Zimbabwe National Army journey between two seemingly contradictory spaces in search of healing: the space of camaraderie in the political association of the former soldiers in exile namely Affected Military Men of Zimbabwe Association (AMMOZA) and Pentecostal churches in Johannesburg where many of these former soldiers participate. In the former the men reaffirm their military past, keep it alive, and use it to justify who they are in their post-combat life in South Africa. In the churches, in contrast, the men are guided to reconstruct their perspective on the past in terms of expiating remorse and guilt and to obtain forgiveness, presuming that this will liberate them from the haunting effects of hope dzakaipa or ukucubungula meaning bad dreams. From the men’s narratives it emerges that to come to terms with their past and find some sort of reconciliation between their two contradictory perspectives in dealing with the past, the men would require political amnesty by the Zimbabwean government. This would ensure they would be recognised as former soldiers who served the nation and could reconcile with their families and friends, and openly present themselves to civilians. This chapter is primarily based on interviews with 10 of the 44 former soldiers who participated in a larger study on members of the Zimbabwean army who deserted or resigned and are in exile in South Africa.

Keywords

Political Violence Evil Spirit Opposition Party Military Police Military Life 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Alexander, J. (1998). Dissident perspectives on Zimbabwe’s post-independence war. Africa, Journal of the International Africa Institute, 68(2), 151–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alexander, J. (2003). ‘Squatters’, veterans and the state in Zimbabwe. In A. Hammar, B. Raftopoulos, & S. Jensen (Eds.), Zimbabwe’s unfinished business: Rethinking land, state and nation in the context of crisis (pp. 83–117). Harare: Avondale, Weaver Press.Google Scholar
  3. Beecher, H. (1973). Explaining miracles. In C. Frazier (Ed.), Faith healing; Finger if God/or, scientific curiosity? (pp. 56–63). New York: Thomas Nelson.Google Scholar
  4. Bolton, S. C. (2009). Are we having fun yet? A consideration of workplace fun and engagement. Employee Relations, 31(6), 556–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Collinson, D. L. (1988). ‘Engineering humour’: Masculinity, joking and conflict in shop-floor relations. Organisational Studies, 9(2), 181–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crush, J., & Tevera, D. (2010). Exiting Zimbabwe. In J. Crush & D. Tevera (Eds.), Zimbabwe’s exodus, crisis, migration, survival (pp. 1–49). Cape Town: SAMP.Google Scholar
  7. Dzinesa, G. (2008). The role of ex-combatants and Veterans in violence in transitional societies (Concept paper violence and transition project roundtable). Johannesburg: CSVR.Google Scholar
  8. Freud, S. (1979). Jokes and their relation to the unconscious. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  9. Gear, S. (2002). Now that the war is over: Ex-combatants’ transition and the question of violence. A literature review. Violence and Transition Series. Johannesburg: Centre for the Study of Violence and Transition (CSVR).Google Scholar
  10. Gear, S. (2005). Wishing us away: Challenges facing ex-combatants in the ‘new’ SA. Johannesburg: CSVR.Google Scholar
  11. Gibson, D. (2010). The balsak in the roof: Bush war experiences and mediations as related by white South African Conscripts. In L. Kapteijns & A. Richters (Eds.), Mediations of violence in Africa: Fashioning new futures from contested pasts (pp. 211–245). Johannesburg: WITS University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hammar, A. (2005). Disrupting democracy? Altering landscapes of local government in post-2000 Zimbabwe. Discussion Paper 9. London, UK: Crisis States Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science.Google Scholar
  13. Hammar, A. (2008). In the name of sovereignty: Displacement and state making in post-independence Zimbabwe. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 26(4), 417–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hammar, A., & Raftopoulos, B. (2003). Zimbabwe’s unfinished business: Rethinking land, state and nation. In A. Hammar, B. Raftopoulos, & S. Jensen (Eds.), Zimbabwe’s unfinished business: Rethinking land, state and nation in the context of crisis (pp. 1–47). Harare: Avondale Weaver Press.Google Scholar
  15. Harris, B. (2006). Between a rock and a hard place: Violence, transition and democratisation. A consolidated review of the Violence and Transition Project. Johannesburg: CSVR.Google Scholar
  16. Hatch, J. M., & Ehrlich, S. B. (1993). Spontaneous humour as an indicator of paradox and ambiguity in organisations. Organisation Studies, 14(4), 505–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heath, J. D. (2012). You’re joking: Leadership and humor. Scientific Journal of Humanities, 2(2), 15–20.Google Scholar
  18. Hunt, S. (2000). Dramatising the ‘health and wealth gospel’: Belief and practice of a neo-Pentecostal ‘Faith Ministry’. Journal of Beliefs and Values, 21(1), 73–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hynes, S. (1999). Personal narratives and commemoration. In J. Winter & E. Sivan (Eds.), War and remembrance in the twentieth century (pp. 205–220). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jones, J. L. (2010a). ‘Nothing is straight in Zimbabwe’: The rise of the Kukiya-kiya economy 2000–2008. Journal of Southern African Studies, 36(2), 285–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jones, J. L. (2010b). Freeze! Movement, narrative and the disciplining of price in hyperinflationary Zimbabwe. Social Dynamics, 36(2), 338–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, G. M. (2012). Magic with a message: The poetics of Christian conjuring. Cultural Anthropology, 27(2), 193–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kriger, N. (2006). From patriotic memories to ‘patriotic history’ in Zimbabwe, 1990–2005. Third World Quarterly, 27(6), 1151–1169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lamm, E., & Meeks, M. D. (2009). Workplace fun: the moderating effects of generational differences. Employee relations, 31(6), 613–631.Google Scholar
  25. Lodge, T. (1995). Soldiers of the storm: A profile of the Azanian People’s Liberation Army. In J. Cilliers & M. Reichardt (Eds.), About Turn: The transformation of the South African Military and Intelligence. Institute for Defence and Policy: Midrand.Google Scholar
  26. Lomsky-Feder, E., Gazit, N., & Ben-Ari, E. (2008). Reserve soldiers as transmigrants: Moving between the civilian and military worlds. Armed Forces & Society, 34(4), 593–614.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Makumbe, J. M. (2002). Zimbabwe’s hijacked election: Project Muse. Journal of Democracy, 13(4), 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Maxwell, D. (1998). Delivered from the spirit of Poverty. Journal of Religion in Africa, 28(3), 350–373.Google Scholar
  29. McGovern, M. (2012). Turning the clock back or breaking with the past? Charismatic temporality and elite politics in Cˆote D’ivoire and the United states. Cultural Anthropology, 27(2), 239–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Meyer, B. (1998). Make a complete break with the past: Memory and post-colonial modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostalist discourse. Journal of Religion in Africa, 28(3), 316–349.Google Scholar
  31. Muzondidya, J. (2010). Makwerekwere: Migration, citizenship and identity among Zimbabweans in South Africa. In J. McGregor & R. Primorac (Eds.), Zimbabwe’s new diaspora: Displacement and the cultural politics of survival (pp. 37–58). London: Berghahan Books.Google Scholar
  32. Plester, B. (2009). Crossing the line: Boundaries of workplace humour and fun. Employee Relations, 31(6), 584–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ranger, T. (2004a). Nationalist Historiography, patriotic history and the history of the nation: The struggle over the past in Zimbabwe. Journal of Southern African Studies, 30(2), 215–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ranger, T. (2004). The uses and abuses of history in Zimbabwe. Paper presented at a Conference: Looking to the Future: Social, Political and Cultural Space in Zimbabwe. International Conference held at the Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, 24–26 May 2004.Google Scholar
  35. Sachikonye, L. (2011). When a state turns on its citizens: Institutionalised violence and political culture. Auckland Park: Jacana Media Publishers.Google Scholar
  36. Sion, L., & Ben-Ari, E. (2009). Imagined masculinity: Body, sexuality and family among Israeli military reserves. Symbolic Interaction, 32(1), 21–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Solidarity Peace Trust. (2008). Punishing dissent, silencing citizens: The Zimbabwean election. Johannesburg: Solidarity Peace Trust.Google Scholar
  38. Solidarity Peace Trust. (2009). Gone to Egoli’. Economic survival strategies in Matabeleland: A preliminary study. Johannesburg: Solidarity Peace Trust.Google Scholar
  39. Solidarity Peace Trust. (2010). Desperate lives, twilight worlds: How a million Zimbabweans live without official sanction or sanctuary in South Africa. Johannesburg: Solidarity Peace Trust.Google Scholar
  40. Tankink, M. (2007). ‘The moment I became born-again the pain disappeared’: The healing of devastating war memories in born-again churches in Mbarara District, Southwest Uganda. Transcultural Psychiatry, 44(2), 203–231.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Tendi, B. M. (2008). Patriotic history and public intellectuals critical of power. Journal of Southern African Studies, 34(2), 379–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Tilly, C. (1985). War making and state making as organized crime. In P. Evans, D. Rueschemeyer, & T. Skocpol (Eds.), Bringing the state back in (pp. 169–185). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Torpey, J. (1997). Coming and going: On the state monopolization of the legitimate means of movement. Irvine: University of California, Irvine, Center for the Study of Democracy.Google Scholar
  44. Van Dijk, R. A. (1997). From camp to encompassment: Discourses of trans-subjectivity in the Ghanaian Pentecostal diaspora. Journal of Religion in Africa, 7(2), 135–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vest, B. M. (2012). Citizen, Soldier, or Citizen-Soldier? Negotiating Identity in the US National Guard. Armed Forces & Society, 39(4), 602–627.Google Scholar
  46. Vysma, M. (2011). Trauma, dreams and reconnection. In M. Tankink & M. Vysma (Eds.), Roads & boundaries: Travels in search of re(connection) (pp. 247–255). Diemen: AMB Publishers.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Godfrey Maringira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Annemiek Richters
    • 2
    • 3
  • Lorena Núňez
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and SociologyUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Public Health and Primary CareLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Amsterdam School for Social Science ResearchUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of SociologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations