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Research Report

The SADC Facilitation and Democratic Transition in Zimbabwe

Siphamandla Zondi
Zandile Bhengu
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Pages: 26

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. [ii]-2)
  2. (pp. 3-3)
  3. (pp. 5-6)

    This report synthesises the outcomes of a series of activities designed to get a better understanding of the role and impact of the SADC/SA mediation on the transition from crisis to democracy in Zimbabwe, especially since President Jacob Zuma of South Africa took over from President Mbeki who brokered the Global Political Agreement signed by the governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the two MDC factions in September 2008. The Zimbabwe crisis deepened between 1999 when the MDC emerged as a major challenger to the ZANU-PF to 2008 notwithstanding various interventions including targeted sanctions by the EU and...

  4. (pp. 6-9)

    The various dimensions of the peace process and transition in Zimbabwe have to be located in the backdrop of five factors: governance crisis; neo-colonial dimension; a complicated West-Africa Dichotomy; and economic meltdown.

    The first is that the crisis in Zimbabwe is fundamentally about governance or management and use of political power through the state. Contestations over political and state power lie at the heart of this crisis in which the ruling party has been involved in competition for power with several alternative parties since the 1980s. The pursuit of political dominance by eliminating other parties through co-option (as in the...

  5. (pp. 9-15)

    The government-sponsored violence would reach its peak when in March 2007 the police pounced on an MDC prayer meeting, physically beating its president, Morgan Tsangarai, and other leaders of the pro-democracy forces. This orgy of violence was shown on international media, and attracted international condemnation. Even the South African government known to have been reluctant to publicly condemn Zimbabwe came out with a strong statement decrying ‘the abuses of human rights currently taking place in Zimbabwe.’ The SA government spokesman reported cabinet concern that the level of violence had gone too far and the government intended to work with SADC...

  6. (pp. 16-16)

    Although much has been achieved by the SADC facilitation team in Zimbabwe, a lot is yet to be done. Nothing can be guaranteed as the ultimate outcome as disagreement between the parties over which clauses of the GPA to prioritise continue to haunt the implementation of the GPA and, therefore, the elections. It is for this reason that the Institute for Global Dialogue has been requested to provide more platforms for discussion between the facilitating team and the civil society in and out of Zimbabwe to ensure that the necessary reforms take place sooner....

  7. (pp. 16-18)

    Since the discussions were held, there have been two major SADC meetings on Zimbabwe, which have added some new dynamics to the situation. On 31 March 2011, the troika of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation comprising Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia met in Livingstone, Zambia, to receive a report from South Africa regarding the road map to elections in Zimbabwe. It was expected to use the report to put pressure on the Zimbabwean parties to fast-track the already long-delayed process of GPA implementation, especially the unfinished process of constitution-making. The push by the ZANU-PF for an early...

  8. (pp. 18-19)

    This report recommends that:

    (a) The parties to the GPA should put more focus on the necessary reforms (electoral, constitutional, and economic) to create a conducive environment for elections.

    (b) The robust stance adopted by SADC recently needs to be maintained, without alienating the ZANU-PF, in order to give Zimbabweans confidence in the efficacy of the regional facilitator to help them decide their fate freely.

    (c) A road map on elections should not deviate from the spirit and letter of the GPA including the need for a new constitution, a referendum and an independent electoral authority....

  9. (pp. 19-19)
  10. (pp. 24-24)