Individual Freedoms & State Security in the African Context: The Case of Zimbabwe

By John Hatchard | Go to book overview

Preface

This book started life as a short note on a preventive detention case in Zimbabwe. Its growth was a result of my realisation that states of emergency are a common phenomenon in Africa and that during them, governments enjoy frighteningly wide powers which significantly affect the lives of every citizen. Clearly, unbridled power cannot be tolerated and some safeguards are necessary. This book therefore examines the relationship between emergency powers and individual freedoms in Africa using Zimbabwe as a case study. I hope it will shed some light on the intricate relationship between the two and also promote greater national and international awareness of the problems and dangers posed by states of emergency.

I would like to thank James Currey for working to make this book available throughout Africa. Special thanks must go to Beverley Hargrove for her invaluable assistance in getting the manuscript typeset and ready for press.

To my wife Trinah I owe an enormous debt of gratitude. It was only due to her understanding and support during the research and writing that the book was finished. Thanks also to my children, Sam, Simbidzayi, Zohra and Prudie for letting me complete the project in peace and quiet.

Finally, I must thank my computer with whom I have sat for so many hours during the writing of the book. It has never failed me and has meticulously corrected all my spelling errors. May your cursor continue to blink for many years to come.

John Hatchard

Harare, Zimbabwe

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