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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Zimbabwe Transition Barometer - Issue 04
in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
May 07, 2013
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transitional period must be an interregnum of shifting sands, from
a set of authoritarian political procedures to democratic ones.
The contemporary political processes in Zimbabwe display continuity
here and change there which justify the need for continuous trekking
of the transition. Consequently, our fourth edition of the Zimbabwe
Transition Barometer (Issue 4) continues to focus on key transitional
issues and how they affect the quest for democratisation in the
country. Given the recently
concluded referendum, this issue traces the relevant areas that
are central for a democratic transition. Although the timing of
the eventual election still remains elusive, there is a need for
urgency in addressing outstanding reforms. This task will require
the Southern African Development Community (SADC) facilitators and
parties to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) to find consensus around a sustainable
road map to that election. In this issue, we argue that the citizens
of Zimbabwe, through the representation of civil society, faith
based organisations, academia et cetera need to be more involved
in formulating lasting solutions to deliver a democratic transition.
Their historical exclusion has been one of the causes of the protracted
transition as well as the political grandstanding synonymous with
the political parties. The focus in this issue is on six areas that
have an impact on both the transitional process and the building
and consolidation of democratisation.
The areas of
i) The Constitution
ii) Review of
the implementation of GPA
the Rule of Law
iv) Post referendum:
monitoring the elections
vi) The Role
and impediments in each of these areas are assessed against the
broader goal of democratisation. Their impact on political processes
and the possible scenarios that arise from related prevailing matters
are also are also made in order to ensure that the ultimate goal
of democratisation remains attainable.
From a conceptual
perspective we continue to build on the seminal works of Michael
Bratton and Nicolas van de Walle, which focus on regime transitions
in sub-Saharan Africa. In their seminal book, ‘Democratic
experiments in Africa’; they identify four possible outcomes
of a transition, which we continue to employ as the baseline for
our analytic lens. These are precluded transition, blocked transition,
flawed transition and democratic transition.
develop this framework by proposing two variants of a flawed transition
outcome. The first variant is a premature end to the transition
which we term derailed transition and the second is a prolonged
transition. The common denominator of both variants of a flawed
transition, we develop here, is that the incumbent will continue
to occupy the saddle of state power. Unlike in the preceding edition
of the Barometer we provide further conceptual clarity on the outcomes
of a democratic transition. Beyond Michael Bratton and Nicolas van
de Walle’s useful blanket term of a democratic transition
we make a theoretical proposition to further qualify such an outcome.
As informed by Zimbabwe’s empirical realities and specificities
a democratic transition can either be a pacted one or a zero sum
one. In both scenarios either the incumbent or opposition wins a
free and fair election and choose to accommodate the losers (pacted)
or go it alone (zero sum). Neither is less democratic. For now,
we lay the possible transitional outcomes as below.
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