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Ruth Murambadoro at HagueTalks, 13.06.2017

GovInn’s Research Fellow Ruth Murambadoro presented at the HagueTalks on peace and justice.

HagueTalks  is a platform that encourages critical debates about peace and justice. It is a breeding ground where creative minds, peace innovators and game changers gather to share ideas on how to advance peace and justice in various communities. On the 13th of June 2017 our Emerging Scholar Ms Ruth Murambadoro graced the stage at HagueTalks and shared her views on the topic of the day, How to get inclusive justice?. Ms Murambadoro believes that inclusive justice begins when we are able to understand that a human being is a spirit being that exists in a cosmological society comprising of the ‘living-living’, the ‘living-dead’ and the ‘living unborn’. She shared that when an injustice occurs it does not only hurt the physical body because the pain goes deep inside and destroys the spirit being. If one wants to make amends or retain the balance where there has been an imbalance, there is need to ensure that they do not only attend to the physical wounds but address the spirit because a human being is a living spirit. Therefore as a living spirit, justice is an all-encompassing process where you make sure you attend to the psychosocial and the spiritual needs of the spirit being. Justice is not a one-size-fits-all, it has to be tailor made to ensure that it meets the needs of the people that are affected by conflict. Ms Murambadoro argued that we do not have to do justice for the state or international bodies because it is the individual that is affected. Hence, before we impose our solutions to a conflict situation, we ought to give more time to understanding the depth of the wound carried by the affected parties in order to provide justice that is deep enough to unpluck the root of the wound.

“Zimbabwe is reaching a breaking point”, by Eric Manyonda and Ruth Murambadoro

by Eric Manyonda and Ruth Murambadoro, GovInn senior researcher

On the 24th of August 2016 the Zimbabwe Republic Police clashed with protesters over a planned demonstration led by a coalition of opposition parties and the civil society.

Since the birth of the citizens’ movement, #ThisFlag earlier this year, there has been an increase in sporadic outbursts of citizens demanding the government to deliver on its election promises. As such, the citizens who in spite of their political affiliations joined forces and launched a mega demonstration on the 24th of August through which they demanded the president Mr RG Mugabe to step down.
Initially the police had attempted to block the protest by rejecting the clearance application that had been made by the protesting parties in accordance with the Public Order and Security Act (POSA). According to the POSA, any groups of people intending on holding a meeting are required to notify the police of the event and get permission. This according to the Act, is done to protect and prevent the gatherings from turning violent. Upon notice of the ‘Mega demo’ the police rejected the application citing lack of manpower to monitor the event. Opposition parties however sought the intervention of the high court, which acted in their favour by overturning the decision of the police. Armed with the high court ruling the opposition parties went ahead with their planned demonstration and launched the Mugabe Must Go Now campaign.

Zimbabwe Unrest 2016

To their dismay, the peaceful protestors were caught up in the crossfire as police had been deployed heavily armed to attack and disrupt the protest. The innocent protestors were forced to run for their lives while the police fired water cannons, teargas and even button sticks to disperse the crowds. The dire situation also agitated some already desperate protestors who retaliated to the police attacks by torching police vehicles, looting and launching attacks on businesses in the city, thereby escalating the violence to unprecedented levels. By Friday the violence had intensified pushing the government to increase the police force and even deployed the military, a phenomenon that last occurred in Zimbabwe during the food riots of 1998.

Though a state of emergency has not yet been declared, the military is now guarding the capital city Harare and some parts of the country are under heavy security surveillance. It appears as if Zimbabwe has reached its breaking point and the government is desperately trying to prevent the Arab Spring phenomenon.

All pictures by Eric Manyonda

GovInn Junior Researcher elected to ASA board

GovInn is proud to announce the election of junior researcher Ruth Murambadoro  to the prestigious Africa Studies Association (ASA) Board of Directors. Founded in 1957 the ASA is the leading organisation of African Studies in North America with its headquarters at Rutgers University, New Jersey. Ruth will serve as the Emerging Scholar Representative-elect commencing at the Fall-semester meeting of the Board.

Ruth’s work has previously been recognised by the ASA as well as African Studies Centre, Leiden. She was also a recipient of the ASA’s Presidential Fellowship in 2015 and was shortlisted for the Africa Thesis Award in the same year. As the ASA Presidential fellow she presented lectures at the University of Louisville, Kentucky and a conference paper at the 58th ASA Conference in San Diego, California. She is also a recipient of the African Pathways NIHSS-CODESRIA doctoral fellowship (2015/16) and the Next Generation Social Sciences in Africa fellowship (2015).

For the full announcement follow the link here.