Piers Pigou, Southern Africa Project Director, and Trevor Maisiri, Southern Africa Senior Analyst, talk about tensions surrounding Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections in this video. We recently published a report looking at possible paths towards elections, expected to be held between July and November this year.
Showing posts tagged as "zimbabwe"
Showing posts tagged zimbabwe
‘Zimbabwe not ready for poll’ | Mail & Guardian
By Farai Shoko
Zimbabwe is not ready for elections and faces the risk of a violent or illegitimate election because it has not reformed all areas that it promised to when the unity government was set up, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
Both Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have insisted elections will go ahead this year at a date yet to be set. However, in its report released this week, titled “Storm Clouds in Zimbabwe: Scenarios Ahead of the Elections”, the watchdog said that unless the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is able to push for reforms, particularly in the security sector, the country will end up with another disputed election reminiscent of the 2008 poll, whose outcome was contested.
“The MDC formations have called for the full resolution of outstanding election roadmap issues even after adoption of a new Constitution. Zanu-PF says the new Constitution should supersede the roadmap. Without agreement on such important issues, Zimbabwe is not ready for elections,” the group said.
Photo: Flickr/Gregg Carlstrom
Zimbabwe: Election Scenarios
Johannesburg/Brussels | 6 May 2013
The pervasive fear of violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe’s 2013 elections contradicts political leaders’ rhetorical commitments to peace, and raises concerns that the country may not be ready to go to the polls.
Zimbabwe: Election Scenarios, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, reviews developments in what remains an inchoate political environment, and describes possible paths towards elections, expected to be held between July and November this year.
Zimbabwe’s Inclusive Government – the country’s uneasy power-sharing experiment, based on a 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) between, principally, President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party – averted greater political violence and repression. But it has not delivered political or economic stability. A reasonably free, conclusive vote is still possible, but so too are disputed polls or even a military intervention by security officials supporting, and profiting from, Mugabe’s continued rule.
The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
- There is lack of consensus and clarity among the GPA partners on reforms following the 16 March constitutional referendum. The country must not rush into elections before addressing these concerns as well as the practical implementation of necessary reforms. Without these, deferring the vote may be appropriate.
- The Southern African Development Community (SADC), in particular South Africa, remains central to shaping a credible vote and legitimising its outcome. SADC must convene a heads of state summit on Zimbabwe that emphasises compliance with the community’s “Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections”. It should also establish a liaison office in Harare to monitor and evaluate electoral preparations; define strict benchmarks for compliance by the GPA parties; and establish clear monitoring and observation roles in the election.
- Pro-democracy institutions established under the GPA need much more support. The Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, in particular, needs to be enhanced throughurgent permanent deployment of SADC officials; deployment of additional monitors in the provinces; independent investigation of alleged interference by state security forces in politics; and extension of its mandate to cover the entire election period and its aftermath.
“Continued violations of the GPA, the lack of reform and the recent rejection of a UN election needs assessment mission suggest that conditions for peaceful, credible elections are not yet in place”, says Comfort Ero, Crisis Group’s Africa Program Director. “The new constitution could provide the basis for moving forward, but its immediate political impact will be limited and it is unlikely to ensure free and fair elections”.
“Elections in a context of acute divisions will not provide stability”, says Piers Pigou, Southern Africa Project Director. “The Southern African Development Community must define and enforce the necessary minimum conditions for a credible vote, and ensure the country does not rush into elections before there is clarity and consensus on – and implementation of – necessary reforms”.
"The main issue with the prime minister has really been the glaring issues of leadership. I think for me one of the issues, besides looking at his personal self, is the issue of policy fundamentals."
—Trevor Maisiri, Crisis Group’s Southern Africa Senior Analyst, speaking with SW Radio Africa
Has the EU lifted sanctions against Zimbabwe too soon? | The Guardian
By David Smith
A leading human rights lawyer spends eight days in jail; the prime minister’s office is raided, six of his staff arrested and three computers allegedly go missing; civil society groups warn of rising political violence and intimidation tactics. Plus ça change in Zimbabwe.
Yet thousands of miles away that is not, apparently, how things look from Brussels. On Monday the European Union dropped most of its sanctions against the southern African country, the most far-reaching olive branch for more than a decade.
This was in effect a reward for a “peaceful, successful and credible” referendum on a new constitution and designed to encourage further progress. The EU dropped its targeted measures against 81 officials and eight firms in Zimbabwe. Only 10 people, including President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace, and two companies, including the state-run Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), remain on the sanctions list, restricted by asset freezes and travel bans.
Photo: Flickr/IRIN Photos
CrisisWatch N°115 | (01 Mar 2013)
The assassination on 6 February of opposition leader Chokri Belaïd sparked Tunisia’s worst political crisis since the 2011 revolution. The killing triggered mass protests throughout the country against the ruling Islamist party An-Nahda, and in turn counter-protests by An-Nahda supporters. Having dissolved the government in response to the assassination, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali later resigned after his plan to form an interim cabinet of technocrats collapsed in the face of opposition from his own An-Nahda party.
Syria’s conflict continued to exact a horrific toll, with the number of dead, wounded and displaced rising. The Assad regime further escalated violence, reportedly firing ballistic missiles into civilian neighbourhoods, while reports also emerged of its mistreatment of prisoners; the rebels continued to make steady gains; signs of intensifying communal and sectarian friction continued to emerge. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees called the humanitarian situation “dramatic beyond description”. As yet there is little sign of progress in advancing a political solution to the crisis.
The Syrian conflict continues to threaten to destabilise neighbouring Lebanon. Ever more refugees flow across the border and Hizbollah appears increasingly sucked into the fighting. Meanwhile recent controversy over a proposed new electoral law exposed rising sectarianism and mistrust between the various Lebanese communities.
In Yemen, tensions between southern separatists on the one hand and state security forces and the Islamist party, Islah, on the other reached their highest levels since early 2012, and could lead to further violence. Clashes between separatist protesters and security forces in the South left at least six people dead. The UN Security Council warned that the actions of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and separatist leader Ali Salim al-Bid threatened to undermine the country’s democratic transition.
North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on 12 February, a reaction to the UN Security Council’s January resolution condemning its satellite launch last December. As the Security Council held immediate emergency talks, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the nuclear test as “deeply destabilising”. China also declared publicly its “firm opposition” to the test and summoned the North Korean ambassador to Beijing to express its dissatisfaction.
Tension increased ahead of Guinea’s forthcoming legislative elections. The electoral commission, accelerating its preparations for the vote scheduled for 12 May, controversially validated the choice of two companies to undertake a revision of voter rolls. The opposition, who believe the companies are open to political pressure, responded by withdrawing from electoral preparations, and opposition supporters protested in Conakry and other cities.
In Bangladesh, violent Islamist protests against the country’s 1971 war crimes tribunal intensified, as protesters faced off against a popular movement in support of death sentences for those accused, including senior leaders of the Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami. One of the organisers of the demonstrations in support of death sentences was hacked to death in a suspected Jamaat-e-Islami attack mid-February. Dozens have been killed in clashes since the tribunal sentenced a Jamaat-e-Islami leader to death on 28 February, and violence was continuing. The government faces growing calls to ban Jamaat-e-Islami.
In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe announced that the referendum on a new constitution would be held on 16 March, as worrying reports emerged of politically-motivated violence and intimidation, and of raids on non-governmental organisations (NGOs), confiscation of their documents and equipment, and police allegations that 99 per cent of NGOs are engaged in regime change.
Photo: Bronski Beat/Flickr
Referendum attracts mixed feelings | The Standard
By Nqaba Matshazi
Political analyst, Trevor Maisiri contends the referendum will be a platform for consensus from the three parties and there will be no contestation.
He however maintains that it ought to be held.
“I think it is part of the democratic process to allow the draft to go through to the referendum as not everyone is Zanu PF or part of the two MDCs,” Maisiri, a senior analyst for southern Africa at the International Crisis Group, said.
He said even if people opposed to the draft were a minority, they deserved to be given a chance to be heard.
“Even if there are people who belong to minority political parties or groupings that do not agree to the draft, it is their democratic right to express their views through a referendum,” Maisiri said.
Photo: IRIN Photos/Flickr
Southern Africa: SADC Failures Allowing Zim Crisis to Unfold | All Africa
By Alex Bell
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is facing calls to urgently rectify its failures, which have allowed the crisis in Zimbabwe and other parts of the region to unfold.
A new report by the International Crisis Group has described SADC’s many weaknesses, which have “prevented the leadership bloc from effectively dealing with threats to peace and security in the region.”
Photo: Lokal_Profil/Wikimedia Commons
SADC fails to deal with Zimbabwe | Zimbabwe Independent
By Brian Chitemba
SADC has failed to effectively deal with the Zimbabwe political logjam because the bloc’s conflict resolution mechanism depends on heads of state and government and ministerial committees which are perpetually committed to their own domestic issues.
According to the International Crisis Group (ICG) report titled Implementing Peace and Security Architecture (II) Southern Africa, the regional bloc’s intervention in Zimbabwe’s political crisis exposed its limited capacity to enforce agreements it helps broker.
FULL ARTICLE (Zimbabwe Independent)
Photo: Ross Huggett/Flickr
Zimbabwe’s constitution process a battleground | Mail & Guardian
By Ray Ndlovu
The contest to control Zimbabwe’s drafting of a new constitution will heat up next week when the draft produced by the constitutional parliamentary committee (Copac) is taken to a second stakeholders conference.
The draft will be debated by more than 1000 delegates, including businesspeople and representatives from churches, non-governmental organisations and political parties in Harare from October 4 to 6.
Photo: IRIN Photos/Flickr