Records of the Zimbabwe African National Union

Scope and Content

Political Papers, 1974-1976; Publicity Material, 1975-1977; and Papers of Other Organisations, 1974-1976.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) was formed in August 1963 after a group of Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) members, disenchanted with the leadership of Joshua Nkomo, decided to found a new, more militant organisation. The movement, under the leadership of Ndabaningi Sithole and Robert Mugabe, was banned by Ian Smith's governing Rhodesian Front in 1964 and its leadership detained. ZANU nevertheless continued to be active and began guerrilla operations in 1969, basing itself in neighbouring Mozambique from 1974.
Mugabe assumed unilateral control of ZANU on 18th March, 1975. Later that year, a factional split along tribal lines led the Ndebele to follow Sithole into the moderate ZANU (Ndonga) party, who renounced violent struggle, while the Shona followed Mugabe with a more militant agenda.
ZANU won the 1980 elections under the leadership of Mugabe, and seven years later merged again with Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU to form the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

Access Information

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws.

Acquisition Information

The documents were deposited with the Borthwick Institute as part of a collection formed by the Centre for Southern African Studies Documentation Project (1974-1976) at the University of York. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust Fund the Documentation Project was established to build up a collection of primary source material on southern Africa.

Note

The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) was formed in August 1963 after a group of Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) members, disenchanted with the leadership of Joshua Nkomo, decided to found a new, more militant organisation. The movement, under the leadership of Ndabaningi Sithole and Robert Mugabe, was banned by Ian Smith's governing Rhodesian Front in 1964 and its leadership detained. ZANU nevertheless continued to be active and began guerrilla operations in 1969, basing itself in neighbouring Mozambique from 1974.
Mugabe assumed unilateral control of ZANU on 18th March, 1975. Later that year, a factional split along tribal lines led the Ndebele to follow Sithole into the moderate ZANU (Ndonga) party, who renounced violent struggle, while the Shona followed Mugabe with a more militant agenda.
ZANU won the 1980 elections under the leadership of Mugabe, and seven years later merged again with Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU to form the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

Other Finding Aids

Anne V Akeroyd and Colin P Lunt (eds.), A Guide to the Southern African Archives in the University of York, (York, 1979).
A typescript catalogue, to file level, is available for consultation in the Borthwick Institute's searchrooms.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by James Towe on 3 July 2009.

Conditions Governing Use

A reprographics service is available to researchers. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute, University of York, terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Accruals

Further deposits are not expected.

Additional Information

Published

GB 193

Geographical Names