New Internationalist

Palaver Finish

September 2002

This is a slender work, more of a pamphlet than a book, which nevertheless packs a hefty punch. Chenjerai Hove is a Zimbabwean writer whose output has included novels, poems and essays. Palaver Finish brings together some 21 of his recent columns from the Zimbabwe Standard, one of the last newspapers to carry material critical of Robert Mugabe’s regime.

Hove’s incandescent anger and contempt for the lies and platitudes of the time-serving politicians, opposition as well as government, burns off the page. The squandered potential of Zimbabwe is crystallized in a heartbreaking essay of less than three pages entitled ‘Zimbabwe’s Lost Visions’ in which Hove excoriates the bad faith of a political élite intent only on self-enrichment as the infrastructure of the country crumbles and violence takes root at the heart of society.

There are words that recur in these pieces whose repetition beats out a rhythm of rage and despair while speaking of an alternative possible future: ‘culture’, ‘censorship’, ‘creativity’, ‘control’, ‘conscience’. For Hove the rulers of his country are thugs and vandals who have knowingly created a climate of fear in which each individual is beset with ‘mini states of emergency which reside in the heart’. This is an impassioned polemic from a writer agonizingly aware of the catastrophic path his country is taking and doing his utmost to alter that course.

Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 349 This column was published in the September 2002 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

Never miss another story! Get our FREE fortnightly eNews

Comments on Palaver Finish

Leave your comment


  • Maximum characters allowed: 5000
  • Simple HTML allowed: bold, italic, and links

Registration is quick and easy. Plus you won’t have to re-type the blurry words to comment!
Register | Login

...And all is quiet.

Subscribe to Comments for this articleArticle Comment Feed RSS 2.0

Guidelines: Please be respectful of others when posting your reply.

Palaver Finish Fact File
Product information by Chenjerai Hove
Publisher Weaver Press
Product number ISBN 1 77922 001 4
Star rating4
Product link

Get our free fortnightly eNews


Videos from visionOntv’s globalviews channel.

Related articles

Recently in Books

All Books

Popular tags

All tags

This article was originally published in issue 349

New Internationalist Magazine issue 349
Issue 349

More articles from this issue

New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

If you would like to know something about what's actually going on, rather than what people would like you to think was going on, then read the New Internationalist.

– Emma Thompson –

A subscription to suit you

Save money with a digital subscription. Give a gift subscription that will last all year. Or get yourself a free trial to New Internationalist. See our choice of offers.