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Zimbabwean Election posters:


An assurance of leadership / ZANU [Salisbury : ZANU, 1980]


The Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), formed in 1963, split in the early 1970s. Most members sided with the Robert Mugabe faction which went on to contest the 1980 elections as the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). This poster was produced by the moderate element of ZANU which continued to be led by its founder Ndabaningi Sithole, but which failed to win a seat in the elections. Please click the image for an enlarged view of the poster.


Power for land, power for work, power for education / Patriotic Front. [S.l. : Patriotic Front, 1980]

pf This poster from the 1980 Rhodesian elections features Joshua Nkomo. He had originally founded the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU) in 1961, later allying in the Patriotic Front with his rival Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) in 1976. The Patriotic Front was not involved in the 1979 elections, but in 1980 the two wings decided to contest the elections as separate parties, with Nkomo's party registering as the Patriotic Front. They went on to take 20 of 100 seats in the new parliament, and eventually merged with Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in 1987. Please click the image for an enlarged view of the poster.


The President of U.A.N.C. : Bishop Abel Tendekai Muzorewa. [S.l. : UANC, 1980]

Bishop Muzorewa Bishop Muzorewa became Prime Minister of Rhodesia Zimbabwe in 1979 after his United African National Council's victory in the elections which followed an internal settlement between the Rhodesian government and those African groups not involved in the country's civil war. This settlement excluded the two major African national liberation organisations, ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union) and ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People's Union), and as a consequence the Bishop's regime was not recognised by the international community. This poster is believed to date from the elections held the following year, which ZANU both participated in and won, bringing Robert Mugabe to power.Please click the image for an enlarged view of the poster.


Vote ZUPO. [S.l. : ZUPO, 1979/1980]

zupo The Zimbabwe United People's Organization (ZUPO) was a narrow grouping organized by government-appointed chiefs, and one of the moderate parties which joined the negotiations with Ian Smith in 1977 seeking to bring about an internal settlement. It is not known whether this poster originates from the 1979 or 1980 elections, though it is most likely to be the latter. The party, led by Jeremiah Chirau, failed to win a seat in 1980 and ceased to be of influence in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Please click the image for an enlarged view of the poster.


Make money : look for these / Department of Information.[S.l. : Department of Information, n.d.]

make money

This terrifying poster originates from either South Africa or Rhodesia, and offers a bounty in return for help finding either 'terrorists' or their weapons. In terms of the imagery of the poster it is interesting to see a black soldier pictured, presumably to re-inforce the idea that this is a struggle between a legitimate government and terrorist rather than between back and white people. Further analysis of the way in which this type of imagery is used can be found in the essay 'Unnatural selection? The political materials collections in the Institute of Commonwealth Studies' by Danny Millum. Please click the image for an enlarged view of the poster.