Posts

‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together’, by Chris Nshimbi in The Conversation.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi recently published the article ‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together‘ in The Conversation.

But, natural disasters like Idai doesn’t respect national boundaries. Their very regional scope requires solutions that integrate domestic actions into a regional governance framework to address them effectively … Instead of acting individually, SADC countries need to work together to pool resources and mobilise disaster relief efforts and resources to be more effective. This could be done through the SADC Secretariat.

 

Read the whole article here: https://theconversation.com/southern-african-countries-wont-manage-disasters-unless-they-work-together-114541

“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

Justice on the margins

Project Summary: This comparative research project examines justice outside of the formal state systems, on the borders between countries and during transitions in Africa. In the past few decades, increasing amounts of attention and resources have been given to national reconciliation and transitional justice, as is evident in the increased inclusion of these in mediation processes and peace agreements. There are long and difficult debates between local governments and the international community concerning what mechanisms should be adopted, as was evident in, for example, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Rwanda and more recently, the Democratic Republic of Conogo, Burundi and Zimbabwe. Yet, a lot of uncertainty remains about these processes and mechanisms, how they work and their actual contribution to peacebuilding.

This project straddles the Transboundary Governance, Security Governance and Governance of the Commons axes of GovInn and addresses three major challenges to reconciliation and transitional justice:

  • The lack of empirical research related to how particular national reconciliation and transitional justice mechanisms impact peacebuilding in local communities
  • The difficulty of balancing adherence to ‘international norms’ with the needs of local governments and communities
  • The fact that many conflicts occur across borders whereas reconciliation and transitional justice is imagined only within the nation-state.
Ruth Murambadoro undertaking fieldwork in Zimbabwe

Ruth Murambadoro undertaking fieldwork in Zimbabwe

Project Team: Cori Wielenga, Chris Nshimbi, Ruth Murambadoro, Patrick Hajayandi

Junior researchers: Anthony Bizos, Chenai Matshaka, Rebeka Gluhbegovic, Zefanias Matsimbe

Funding: CODESRIA and the University of Pretoria’s Research Development Programme

Funding period: May 2015 – July 2019

Does it really matter to snub Mugabe? by Christopher Nshimbi

GovInn research Fellow Christopher Changwe Nshimbi comments on the absence of Zimbabwe at the recent US-Africa summit. What are the responsibility of the Africa Union and of SADC towards the citizens of Zimbabwe? 

AU and SADC should have ensured free and fair elections in Zimbabwe 2013. However, the AU has inherent weaknesses regarding intervening in domestic stalemates as in Zimbabwe and Cote d’Ivoire. SADC should strengthen rules regarding elections, citizens’ rights in electoral processes and SADC’s enforcement role. Moreover, SADC and the AU should revise their approaches to state sovereignty.

Do you agree? Read it all on the Nordic Africa Institute Forum website NAIForumLogo_TEST