It never crossed my mind that not carrying an ID would result in me being at the mercy of a soldier in an incident that I was caught up in last weekend, when everybody was celebrating the seemingly apparent ushering in of a new era in Zimbabwean politics through the not a coup coup.
Citizenship is a complex issue to define, with both legal definitions and political definitions sometimes at odds with each other. Beginning with the groundbreaking work of T. H. Marshall in the immediate post-war period, scholars and commentators have wrestled with the nature of citizenship. In Zimbabwe, the terms has minimal definition in the amended Constitution of 2013, but its meaning in political life has yet to be clearly defined, and it may be argued that it there are contested views of who is a “citizen” in Zimbabwe, with attempts even to exclude many people residing in Zimbabwe.
This paper, which is part of a broader programme examining citizenship and women in Zimbabwe, examines briefly the state of current arguments about the nature and application of citizenship, and extends this into a short consideration about what is meant by “active citizenship”. This is then extended further into a consideration in of “active citizenship” and “social capital” amongst women in Zimbabwe.