Back to Index, Back to Special Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Talks, dialogue, negotiations and GNU - Post June 2008 "elections" - Index of articles
for re-engagement by the international community
and Advocacy Unit, Idasa
PDF version (69KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
With the decision by
MDC-T to enter the "unity government" has come an immediate
call (for example by the AU) for the lifting of "sanctions"
and the re-engagement of the international (donor) community with
the Zimbabwean government. Now, it is not clear to all that the
formal sanctions applied to Zimbabwe consist solely of targeted
sanctions against several score individuals (and more recently businesses)
and asset freezes, and, although thus of limited impact, they remain
a source of pressure upon ZANU PF to restore democratic norms in
Zimbabwe. However, the call for the lifting of sanctions does not
merely apply to these "targeted" sanctions, but is also
a call for the Western nations (the EU and the United States of
America) and the multi-lateral finance institutions (the IMF and
the World Bank) to re-engage, and provide balance of payments support
and development assistance. It has been made abundantly clear by
all these bodies and countries that re-instituting support to Zimbabwe
will be conditional upon compliance with standard lending criteria
and the restoration of democracy.
It is evident
to most that ZANU PF's will to do so has been wholly absent since
the signing of the Global Political Agreement in September 2008.
There is no evidence that ZANU PF has made even a minimal attempt
to honour the undertaking to "respect the democratic values
of justice, fairness, openness, tolerance, equality, respect of
all persons and human rights" outlined in the Preamble to the
Agreement. Rather there has been continued political violence, disregard
of the rule of law, continued partisan media coverage and press
reporting. Even though a "unity" government is currently
being put in place, this of itself does not mean that democracy
has been restored.
It would then
seem premature to remove the targeted sanctions, and even more premature
for the international community to move beyond the provision of
humanitarian support into balance of payments support and development
aid. There is clearly still a need for the implementation of the
Agreement to be carefully monitored by all parties.
With these points in
mind, there should be no re-engagement by the international community,
outside of humanitarian assistance, until a six month period of
monitoring the implementation of the Agreement against clear and
explicit benchmarks has taken place. This period is necessary in
order to test the good faith of the parties to the Agreement, and
especially the good faith of ZANU PF. The monitoring should be both
local, by Zimbabwean civics, and international, by SADC, AU, and
of an agreement is an issue that has been much discussed by Zimbabwean
civil society and its international partners, and there have been
several exercises to specify the kinds of benchmarks that should
be put in place to determine the efficacy of any agreement.
marks however should not be specified without determining how and
who will monitor these. It is not enough to merely provide a list
of indicators without an equivalent measuring process. Some of this
should be done by the Zimbabwean civil society organizations that
have been doing an excellent job already, and some may need to be
done by new initiatives. This local process should be complimented
by external bodies, with at least a small team from SADC/AU to act
as arbiters over the validity of reports.
are very valuable benchmarks that have been previously developed,
and the following derives strongly from these, it is also evident
that the bench marks will need to be more specific in order that
they can be unambiguously monitored. The following is an attempt
to build on these earlier suggestions in an effort to make the bench
marks more specific.
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.