The history of Residents Associations and African urban representation in colonial Harare, Zimbabwe


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


African Studies Centre


This study is an account of social movements in the African part of the city of Salisbury in colonial Zimbabwe. It explores how the emergence and character of the “Location”, as shaped by segregatory policies which viewed Africans as temporary sojourners in the city, influenced the development of African urban social movements. The study argues that African trade unions and labour organisations were influenced by the state of affairs in the townships to become mouthpieces for all African urban dwellers. The study also assesses the operations of residents’ representative groupings in an environment of heightened national struggle for independence. It refocuses debates on African agency by exploring “African voices” in the urban arena as they engaged with colonial authorities about the manner in which the Location was imagined, arranged and managed. It investigates African urban residents organisations from 1908 up to independence in 1980.