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CrisisWatch Database

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144 results found
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Zimbabwe

  |  1 Sep 2015

Unchanged

Police violently dispersed trade union protests in Harare 8 Aug; protests prompted by massive job cuts following mid-July Supreme Court ruling allowing employers to terminate contracts with three months’ notice. Union leaders detained; journalists allegedly detained and threatened with disappearance. Zanu-PF National Disciplinary Committee 20 Aug began investigation into six pending cases involving senior party officials accused of plotting to depose President Mugabe.

Zimbabwe

  |  3 Aug 2015

Unchanged

President Mugabe 6 July reshuffled cabinet: prominent Information Minister Jonathan Moyo reappointed as Minister for Higher Education. Mugabe 3 July announced three by-elections for seats of three ZANU-PF heavyweights Kudakwashe Bhasikti, David Butau and Ray Kaukonde, expelled from parliament in June, to be held 19 Sept.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jul 2015

Unchanged

Opposition MDC boycott facilitated ZANU-PF’s clean sweep of sixteen by-elections held 10 June; voter turnout low. Expelled ZANU-PF MP Themba Mliswa scored well as independent candidate in Hunrungwe West despite campaign of intimidation and violence waged against him and supporters. MDC continued calls for key electoral reforms. Election observers noted widespread voter intimidation. ZANU-PF purges continued with 39 senior officials suspended early-June, bringing total to 141 senior officials expelled and suspended.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jun 2015

Unchanged

Seven former high-ranking ZANU-PF party members expelled 22 May amid continued purges within ruling party; thirteen others suspected of plotting to assassinate President Mugabe and replace him with former VP Joice Mujuru suspended. 87 members suspended from holding leadership position within party for two years 28 May, over accusation of plotting to overthrow Mugabe. Tensions high ahead of 10 June by-elections: voter intimidation and violence reported in Hurunge West including reports citizens being warned an “unsatisfactory vote” will result in food aid and agricultural inputs being withheld.

Zimbabwe

  |  30 Apr 2015

Unchanged

Purges within ruling ZANU-PF party continued with 3 April expulsion of former VP and Second Secretary Joyce Mujuru. Former ZANU-PF heavyweights Rugare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa joined Mujuru 7 April to launch new party, “ZANU People First”, plans to compete against ZANU-PF in 10 June by-elections and 2018 national elections. Opposition MDC 10 April announced boycott of by-elections, demanded implementation of electoral reforms.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Apr 2015

Unchanged

President Mugabe faced series of court challenges following months-long ZANU-PF purges. Expelled party members Ruagare Gumbo and Didymus Mutasa 2 March issued challenge to High Court seeking to strike down Mugabe’s reforms from Dec party congress; Mutasa and former minister Temba Mliswa 9 March brought challenge to Constitutional Court over their 18 Feb expulsion from National Assembly. Mugabe 7 March threatened to discredit judge handling Mutasa and Gumbo case, said courts have no right to interfere in internal party matters. ZANU-PF 29 March won by-elections in Mt Darwin West and Chirumanzu-Zibagwe, latter won by VP Mnangagwa’s wife Auxilia. National Assembly speaker Jacob Mudenda and Senate President Edna Madzongwe 18 March expelled fourteen MPs of MDC-R (party formed following 2014 split with opposition MDC-T) from parliament; Mugabe 28 March announced by-elections mid-June to fill vacant seats. Abduction of activist Itai Dzamara 9 March, reportedly by security forces, sparked protests and violent response by security forces.

Zimbabwe

  |  2 Mar 2015

Unchanged

Tensions within ruling ZANU-PF remained high amid continued decimation of former VP Mujuru’s faction. Mujuru allies Ray Kaukonde and Enock Porisingazi stripped of seats as chairs of Parliamentary Portfolios 12 Feb. Former ZANU-PF member Didymus Mutasa attacked in state media for declaring Dec party congress unconstitutional, former ZANU-PF provincial chairman Temba Mliswa arrested 1 Feb for illegal weapons possession; both expelled from ZANU-PF 18 Feb. EU mid-Feb committed €230mn for govt support.

Zimbabwe

  |  2 Feb 2015

Unchanged

Tensions persisted following President Mugabe’s early-Dec purges in ZANU-PF party, with rumours of assassination plots and attempts against senior party figures. Deputy Minister Simon Musanhu, ally of former VP Joyce Mujuru, died in mysterious circumstances 15 Jan. Didymus Mutasa, powerful figure in ZANU-PF removed in purge, returned early-Jan, issued statement declaring early Dec party congress unconstitutional; alleged Mugabe and First Lady intimidated members ahead of congress, preventing them from freely choosing their preferred party leaders. Confusion over land rights contributed to instability: heavily armed police and Central Intelligence Organisation agents 8 Jan evicted some 200 families from Arnold Farm in Mazowe, burning down houses, crops; rumours First Lady involved in “land grab” process. President Mugabe appointed AU chair 30 Jan.

Zimbabwe

  |  5 Jan 2015

Unchanged

Tensions over President Mugabe’s succession within ruling ZANU-PF persisted. ZANU-PF 6 Dec approved constitutional amendments allowing Mugabe to hand-pick Politburo members. Mugabe 9 Dec demoted VP Joice Mujuru to ordinary party member, eight other ministers fired same day, accused of plotting to oust him; Mugabe 10 Dec named Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and diplomat Phelekezela Mphoko VPs of ZANU-PF. Ousted former members of ZANU-PF 18 Dec petitioned South African Development Community to intervene in power struggle within party.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Dec 2014

Unchanged

ZANU-PF internal tensions over President Mugabe’s succession as party leader intensified. Mugabe 23 Nov changed ZANU-PF constitution, further centralised power in president’s hands; enabled him to select three highest office-bearers in party. First Lady Grace Mugabe 16 Nov accused VP Mujuru of plotting President’s assassination; Mujuru denied charge. Numerous Mujuru allies removed from national and provincial positions in possible attempt to weaken VP’s faction. Mujuru’s application to participate in Dec party congress rejected 26 Nov.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Nov 2014

Unchanged

ZANU-PF internal tensions over President Mugabe’s succession heightened ahead of Dec party congress as his wife Grace launched several attacks on contender VP Joice Mujuru, senior ZANU-PF members, military officials.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Oct 2014

Unchanged
Amid President Mugabe’s succession battle, army chief 15 Sept said army to stay above politics; ruling Zanu-PF, opposition MDC-T still divided. As economic downturn continued, Central Bank early Sept confirmed repayment of $180mn to China in 1st half of 2014 to keep credit line, 5 Sept issued $50mn bond to import coins; IMF 23 Sept announced country not entitled to debt relief.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Sep 2014

Unchanged

Amid ruling Zanu-PF internal crisis, First Lady Grace Mugabe confirmed as party’s Womens’ League leader 15 Aug, joined politburo, could succeed husband in 2018. Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders 17 Aug met in Victoria Falls, appointed Mugabe as new chairman. Amid economic downturn, Mugabe 25-31 Aug visited China, 31 Aug said secured economic support from Beijing.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Aug 2014

Unchanged

Ruling ZANU-PF infighting continued between VP Joice Mujuru and Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa; First Lady Grace Mugabe endorsed 28 July as next leader of party’s Women’s league prompting concerns she could succeed husband in 2018. Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, Environment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere questioned late July over unidentified anti-regime Facebook blogger. Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume 18 July denounced harassment and crackdown on opposition after being detained alongside 13 others 12 July for holding unauthorised public gatherings. Amid continued economic downturn and threats of street protests by civil society groups, IMF 8 July highlighted some progress in economic reforms, called for greater transparency in mining and diamond industries. Mugabe 2 July called for white farmers to leave country; Mnangagwa 10 July downplayed rant as “misunderstanding”.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jul 2014

Unchanged

Ruling ZANU-PF infighting continued as President Mugabe’s health deteriorates: Mugabe 6 June accused Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo of using state media to divide and destabilise govt; police 19 June arrested editor of state-owned Sunday Mail, court 21 June charged him with subversion and undermining Mugabe’s authority. Continued divisions in opposition MDC-T: Sec Gen Tendai Biti’s “Renewal Team” 29 June “expelled” leader Morgan Tsvangirai for alleged misconduct.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jun 2014

Unchanged

Economic downturn continued; govt 14 May slashed diamond licence fees, 15 May announced tax incentives for foreign investors, 26 May eased local ownership laws. China 7 May demanded gold collateral for loans; World Bank 16 May announced Zimbabwe not entitled to debt relief. MDC-T on brink of collapse: National Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda 8 May urged party factions to take divisions to court after repeated dismissal attempts from both sides. 18 injured 4 May in Zanu-PF, MDC-T clash in Epworth.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 May 2014

Unchanged

Amid worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe, EU 3 April refused to provide budgetary support, China 11 April said would not provide bailout or economic rescue package. Govt early April offered increased diamond sales to UAE; 23 April suggested reintroducing Zimbabwe dollar; 24 April softened indigenisation policy, allowing foreign ownership of banks. MDC-T 10 April expelled party Deputy Treasurer General Elton Mangoma for criticising Tsvangirai’s leadership, 29 April expelled SG Tendai Biti for attempted “suspension” of Tsvangirai. U.S. 17 April imposed sanctions on Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede for controversial role in July 2013 “rigged” elections.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Apr 2014

Unchanged

Govt received $53m development aid from mainly European countries following EU’s suspension of sanctions in Feb. IMF announced it will re-open office in Harare, closed since 2004. In ongoing battle between ZANU-PF factions, Masvingo Provincial Executive Committee members aligned with justice minister Emmerson Mnangagwa 14 March demanded rerun of Oct ZANU-PF provincial executive committee polls; power struggles intensified in Midland province. Increasing divisions in MDC-T: National Council meeting 7 March suspended deputy treasurer-general Elton Mangoma for provoking division; other senior leaders called for Morgan Tsvangirai to step down as leader. Party confirmed preparations for early elective congress in 2015 to address leadership dispute. President Mugabe 28 March announced boycott of 2-3 April EU-Africa summit because of visa ban on wife.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Mar 2014

Unchanged

EU 17 Feb suspended sanctions against 8 ZANU-PF and security officials; travel ban, asset freeze on President Mugabe and wife, Zimbabwe Defence Industries sanctions and arms embargo remain in place. EU ministers 18 Feb paved way for resumption of direct development aid to govt. Govt 11 Feb acknowledged lack of funds to help 60,000 people affected by floods in Tokwe Mukosi dam areas, launched $20mn international appeal. Govt deferred promised civil servant salary increase to end April. Mugabe travelled to Singapore for eye operation; spokesperson denied reports of ill health. Mugabe marked 90th birthday 23 Feb with $1m party; voiced frustration over succession battle, said he couldn’t leave helm with party in tatters in 20 Feb TV interview. Increased pressure on MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai: MDC-T youth assaulted deputy Sec Gen Tendai Biti and treasurer Elton Mangoma 15 Feb after calling for Tsvangirai’s resignation.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Feb 2014

Unchanged

Amid continued economic downturn, govt budget cuts and cash shortages, 2.2mn people reported to be in need of food assistance. UN World Food Programme 14 Jan announced cut in food aid for 1mn Zimbabweans; govt admitted lack of funds to feed population, reportedly requested aid from UK. Justice ministry 16 Jan reported delay in setting up key state institutions due to lack of funds. Finance minister 17 Jan claimed country being sabotaged by foreign banks refusing to offer credit. Civil servants 22 Jan reluctantly accepted salary increase offer following weeks of talks with govt. Battle to succeed President Mugabe stepping up following Nov ZANU-PF provincial executive elections: provincial chairpersons aligned to victor Joice Mujuru facing resistance from executive and provincial co-ordinating committees loyal to opponent Emmerson Mnangagwa. In 25 Jan State of Nation address MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai criticised govt, called for new elections. Mugabe elected first deputy chair of AU executive council 30 Jan.

Zimbabwe

  |  2 Jan 2014

Unchanged

Following chaotic ZANU-PF provincial elections in Nov, VP Joice Mujuru’s faction of party in control of 9 out of 10 provinces; elections declared free and fair by politburo. Results theoretically pave way for Mujuru to succeed President Mugabe as party leader. ZANU-PF’s 14th Annual National People’s Conference adopted resolutions on reestablishment of Special Economic Zones, public-private partnerships and mining sector 13-14 Dec. Finance minister 19 Dec presented 2014 budget likely to further undermine confidence given reiteration of commitment to indigenisation. Worsening liquidity crisis in Zimbabwe with some banks limiting cash withdrawals by customers. Growing anxiety ahead of 1 Jan deadline for foreign-owned shops to close; indigenisation minister 29 Dec said no evictions will take place.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Dec 2013

Unchanged

ZANU-PF factional struggles between Mujuru and Mnangagwa camps continued amid chaotic provincial elections. After results of 2 Nov polls in Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central disputed, politburo upheld Mujuru’s win at extraordinary meeting 23 Nov; elections in 7 other provinces postponed to 30 Nov. Govt held first meeting with IMF delegation 6 Nov since July elections, finance minister 14 Nov stated Zimbabwe open for foreign investment after briefing Western ambassadors about new economic blueprint ZIMASET. Govt set 1 Jan 2014 ultimatum on foreign shop owners to relinquish businesses in line with March 2008 Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act. Govt signed diamond export deal in Belgium 11-12 Nov, following EU’s Sept lifting of sanctions.

 

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Nov 2013

Unchanged

Amid mounting economic problems in aftermath of July election, including food shortages, high unemployment, ZANU-PF blaming Western sanctions while opposition and business point to uncertainty and unclear govt policies undermining confidence. President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF 23 Oct unveiled 5-year economic plan, Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASET). ZANU-PF held Provincial Executive Committee elections late Oct amid intense competition between 2 main factions led by justice minister Mnangagwa and VP Mujuru; polls will be decisive in electing party leadership at Dec elective congress. MDC-T motion in parliament to debate July elections blocked by ZANU-PF 16 Oct. MDC objected to ZANU-PF motion for parliament to send message to international community to remove remaining sanctions. MDC-T 27 Oct revealed dossier which it says contains evidence that ZANU-PF rigged July elections.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Oct 2013

Unchanged

SADC 2 Sept issued final report of its observer mission in July elections, endorsing poll as “free, peaceful and generally credible”; noted that media highly polarised and biased, also late delivery of voters roll. Western govts, especially U.S., continue to question credibility of outcome. Growing speculation that ZANU-PF will use its 75% majority in parliament to amend constitution, including provisions on devolution of power and public accountability of security institutions. President Mugabe announced new cabinet 10 Sept, retaining most of old guard and introducing some new faces. Hawkish Saviour Kasukuwere replaced with more moderate Francis Nhema in indigenisation ministry; inclusion of hardline propagandist and ZANU-PF politburo member Jonathan Moyo as minister of information responsible for media suggests return to hardline stance. During opening of parliament 18 Sept Mugabe said economic recovery top govt priority. New finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa announced Zimbabwe not desperate to re-engage with West, will continue to rely on economic relationship with China. ZANU-PF early Sept ratcheted up rhetoric against sanctions maintained by U.S., Australia, EU, and Canada; SADC again called for lifting of sanctions. EU 17 Sept announced lifting sanctions on state mining company Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), despite parliamentary portfolio committee exposing malfeasance in diamond sector and central role of ZMDC, and recent allegations from Mugabe himself that ZMDC chair corrupt.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Sep 2013

Unchanged

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) 3 Aug announced President Mugabe won 31 July presidential election with 61.09% of vote; PM Tsvangirai trailed with 33.94%. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF won 158 of 210 parliamentary seats, Tsvangirai’s MDC 50. ZANU-PF gains included retaking Masvingo, Manicaland, majority of seats in usually hostile Matabeleland provinces. Preliminary reports by AU, SADC and other observer missions endorsed outcome, though noted irregularities. Folowing Tsvangirai’s 1 Aug dismissal of vote as “farce”, MDC-T 9 Aug lodged challenge of results with Constitutional Court (CC) and application to High Court to release evidence to back case, but 17 Aug withdrew CC case citing unfavourable treatment and partisan nature of judiciary after High Court reserved judgment indefinitely. CC 20 Aug nonetheless ruled against MDC-T, finding elections credible, free and fair. MDC-T 20 Aug vowed to continue to challenge legitimacy of election through other means. Mugabe sworn in as president 22 Aug; MDC formations boycotted. SADC member states recognised election outcome; Botswana 5 Aug initially called for audit of results, later reversed decision and endorsed election results. SADC summit 18 Aug endorsed elections declaring them free and peaceful, urged Western countries to review policies on Zimbabwe, drop sanctions; elected Mugabe as SADC vice chair. UK, U.S., Australia condemned election outcome, U.S. 20 Aug said will not lift sanctions without clear evidence of further political reform.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Aug 2013

Risk Alert Unchanged

Presidential, parliamentary and local elections held 31 July after Constitutional Court 4 July dismissed applications seeking delay. Although vote largely peaceful, widespread reports of irregularities on polling day and in run-up including reports of intimidation of MDC voters, imbalanced media and vote-rigging allegations. Largest national observer group ZESN 1 Aug said credibility of elections “seriously compromised” by “systematic effort to disenfranchise urban voters up to a million voters”. PM Tsvangirai’s MDC party claimed attempt to disenfranchise its urban support base. Tsvangirai 1 Aug rejected “sham” election; figures in President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF claimed landslide victory, later retracted claims as only election commission allowed to announce outcome. Indications are that AU and SADC will accept election as credible. Observers fear disputed result could lead to return to protracted political crisis.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jul 2013

Unchanged

President Mugabe 13 June issued presidential decree confirming 31 July election date, citing Constitutional Court’s 28 May ruling that polls be held by 31 July. MDC accused Mugabe of acting illegally, violating constitution. Constitutional court ruling on challenges to election date postponed to 4 July. 30-day voter registration began 10 June; mounting concerns over registration process and election preparations. ZANU-PF infighting continued; primaries to choose candidate delayed till 26 June; many losing candidates reportedly contemplating standing as independents in elections if grievances are not addressed. AU 19 June deployed advance group of long term observers.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jun 2013

Unchanged

GPA partners 22 May formally adopted new constitution. Calls by ZANU-PF and state media for election by 29 June continued. MDC-T primary process began 24 May after several delays, ZANU-PF yet to start. Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander General Chiwenga 5 May dismissed claims MDC-T met with security chiefs, said PM Tsvangirai needs “psychiatric treatment”, exacerbating fears of intimidation and possible violence in run-up to election. Editor of Zimbabwe Independent Dumisani Muleya and journalists Owen Gagare and Nqobile Ndlovu arrested 7 May for reporting MDC-T claims they met security chiefs. Political intimidation continued throughout month including in Matebeleland and Mashonaland Central. MDC-T youth wing leader Solomon Madzore arrested 2 May, charged with insulting president. SADC heads of state 29 May agreed to start coordinating efforts to raise funds for election.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 May 2013

Unchanged

Battles to succeed President Mugabe within ZANU-PF party intensified, with VP Mujuru and Defence Minister Mnangagwa still seen as main contenders: in swing province Manicaland, local leaders expressed vote of no confidence in Mujuru ally Dydmus Mutasa, while arrest of provincial chair Mike Madiro for alleged fraud and theft sparked rumours he was targeted because of his support for Mnangagwa. EU suspended sanctions against 81 ZANU-PF officials, leaving just 10 on list, citing adoption of new constitution as significant step. Continued concerns over lack of funding for elections scheduled for 29 June, budgeted at $132m; ZANU-PF mid-month rejected UN needs assessment mission claiming it overstepped mandate by including security-related concerns and requesting meetings with civil society. Heightened tension within unity govt and clampdowns on civil society further exacerbated fears elections will not be credible.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Apr 2013

Unchanged

Referendum on adoption of new constitution held 16-17 March with highest turnout for any election in decades. Of those voting, 94.5% voted in favour. MDC MP and BBC team reportedly assaulted during final stages of campaigning. Observers including national group Zimbabwe Election Support Network and SADC said referendum peaceful, reflected will of people; EU 25 March eased sanctions on 81 officials and 8 firms; sanctions on President Mugabe and 10 close associates remain. Tensions continued to rise ahead of upcoming elections with reports of ZANU-PF intimidation of civilians, police raids on civil society organizations. Police 17 March raided PM Tsvangirai’s communications office, seized computers, arrested 4 staff and charged them with breaching official secrets code, impersonating police and illegal possession of documents. Human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetra, who intervened during raid, arrested for obstructing justice; released on bail 25 March.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Mar 2013

Deteriorated

Increased raids on NGOs, confiscation of documents and equipment, and allegations by police that “99% of NGOs engaged in regime change”, following President Mugabe’s 15 Feb announcement constitutional referendum to be held 16 March; month also saw reports of politically-motivated violence, intimidation. Police 19 Feb issued edict allowing them to seize radios, same day raided offices of independent election support group Crisis Coalition for alleged subversive materials. PM Tsvangirai 13 Feb said presidential polls expected July; VP Mujuru 24 Feb said only SADC observers will be allowed to monitor polls. EU 18 Feb lifted targeted sanctions for 21 regime members; U.S. said prepared to end targeted sanctions, re-engage in bilateral collaboration if govt honours commitments for reform and implements election roadmap. 3 UN special rapporteurs called for respect for fundamental human rights in run-up to polls.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Feb 2013

Unchanged

GPA principals 18 Jan announced consensus reached on draft constitution. Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) received several reportsof political violence and intimidation by army personnel in Mashonaland West. Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said voter registration exercise announced in Dec 2012 delayed due to lack of funds.

Zimbabwe

  |  30 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Belligerent calls for elections continued throughout month: at ZANU-PF’s peoples conference in Gweru 7-9 Dec, party insisted polls will be held by end of March 2013; President Mugabe threatened to force collapse of GPA and call elections if no progress made on draft constitution before Christmas day, accused “dirty western hands” of “smuggling foreign anathema views” into draft. Despite Mugabe’s ultimatum, draft constitution not finalised. In ZANU-PF report on political violence. ZANU-PF said 2011-2012 period saw more members subjected to attacks by MDC elements, adopted resolution “shunning violence unless provoked by other parties”, raising fears of renewed inter-party violence in forthcoming elections. Deputy PM Mutambara 19 Dec said country will hold general elections next year “with or without new constitution”; Finance Minister Biti 21 Dec said country “cannot afford” to hold elections in 2013, appealed to international community for aid. SADC Executive Secretary Salomão 11 Dec said Zimbabwe will send peacekeeping troops to DRC as part of SADC mission under Tanzanian command. 

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Dec 2012

Unchanged

Month saw increased manoeuvring within ZANU-PF between Mujuru and Mnangagwa factions ahead of party’s 13th National People’s Conference in Dec and planned restructuring following disbanding of District Coordinating Committees. Reports of increasing army deployments to rural areas fuelled concerns over security. Electoral Commission 26 Nov said $50mn allocated in national budget (as opposed to $270mn requested) is insufficient to fund referendum and elections set for 2013. Campaign group Partnership Africa Canada mid-month alleged $2bn in diamond revenues unaccounted for. Intimidation of opposition, rights activists, civil society continued, including 12 Nov arrest of 150 Women of Zimbabwe Arise activists in Bulawayo. Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders 26 Nov said govt violently suppressing rights activists.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Nov 2012

Unchanged

Feared showdown over draft constitution at 21-23 Oct Second All-Stakeholders Conference did not materialise. However, President Mugabe 21 Oct claimed political party principals will have final say on input from Second All-Stakeholders Conference, prompting fears principals may try to force amendments. Petrol bomb attack in Zaka early Oct injured several MDC supporters; PM Tsvangirai 6 Oct again threatened to pull out of unity govt, citing renewed violence against MDC members/supporters. MDC-T negotiator and Energy Minister Elton Mangoma arrested 10 Oct, accused of “undermining president”; released on bail. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and ZANU-PF spokesman/politburo member Rugare Gumbo announced Tsvangirai presidency would not be acceptable to military.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Oct 2012

Unchanged

Major parties 13 Sept agreed to take Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) draft constitution to Second All Stakeholders Conference as required by GPA; standoff provoked when ZANU-PF tabled draft with 220 amendments but MDC refused to return to negotiating table. Supreme Court Chief Justice approved one-month postponement of announcement of by-election dates to 31 Sept; Justice Minister Chinamasa sought further extension to late March 2013 citing lack of funding; President Mugabe submitted affidavit arguing by-elections not necessary as will coincide with general elections. Signs that repressive security architecture instrumental in 2008 electoral violence being reactivated: Electoral Support Network 12 Sept reported reactivation of 2008 torture bases in several rural areas amid increased reports of youth militia activities.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Sep 2012

Unchanged

SADC heads of state summit in Maputo 17-18 Aug emphasised progress on constitutional reform, urged GPA signatories to develop election roadmap timelines, implementation mechanism. MDC-T 3 Aug formally endorsed new draft constitution, PM Tsvangirai 28 Aug said would not negotiate further major amendments; ZANU-PF called for further changes, 29 Aug threatened elections; SADC facilitator President Zuma 24 Aug proposed referendum on COPAC, ZANU-PF drafts to resolve political impasse. High Court 30 Aug extended deadline for by-elections to 1 Oct. 2012 census began amid reported attempts by security sector members to infiltrate process. SADC 17-18 Aug decision to restrict tribunal jurisdiction to inter-state disputes condemned by human rights, legal activists.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Aug 2012

Unchanged

Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) 19 July handed final constitution draft to GPA principals; draft proposes presidential term limits, requires parliamentary consultation on appointments, dual citizenship not included. EU 23 July agreed to lift ban on direct development aid; pledged to lift most sanctions if “peaceful and credible” referendum on new constitution held. Supreme Court 13 July released decision forcing by-election date to be set by end Aug for 3 parliament seats vacated in 2009 by MDC-M defections to MDC-T; Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa 19 July announced polls would be held in further 35 vacant seats. Parliament 10 July passed legislation establishing human rights commission, laws prevent investigations of violations occurring before Feb 2009. 2 MDC-T activists charged 14 July with assaulting Zanu-PF supporter in Mashonaland West province; further 2 activists charged 15 July with distributing party newsletter in Masvingo province; all later granted bail. Soldiers 14 July prevented MDC-T rally in Darwendale, MDC-T SG Tendai Biti said party would respond to any Zanu-PF violence in next elections; Zanu-PF youths 22 July disrupted second rally, 11 MDC officials including district chairperson reported critically injured.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jul 2012

Unchanged

SADC Troika summit 1 June called for GPA implementation, reforms before polls, elections within 12 months; 2-member SADC Troika team 11 June deployed to Zimbabwe to assist Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee in GPA implementation. Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) 21 June announced progress in constitution talks following 17-20 June meeting; GPA parties 28 June reportedly said South Africa President Zuma visit should wait until COPAC submits final draft of constitution. Zanu-PF Defence Minister Mnangagwa reportedly threatened MDC Finance Minister Biti for failing to release funds for recruitment of new soldiers; Biti 14 June said illegal recruitment of 4,600 soldiers Jan-May straining army budget. Police 4 June tear-gassed MDC-T youth outside bail hearing of 29 activists accused of murdering policeman in May 2011.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Jun 2012

Unchanged

President Mugabe 18 May reportedly announced desire to retire but fears disintegration of Zanu-PF, 4 May called for unity as party leadership rivalry intensifies. Zanu-PF supporters 26 May reportedly stoned to death MDC-T official, injured others during rally in Mudzi. Dialogue with EU resumed 10 May; EU High Representative Ashton 17 May praised ongoing political reforms in meeting with 6 govt representatives in Brussels; Zimbabwe demanded immediate unconditional lifting of sanctions. During 19-25 May visit, UN human rights chief Pillay called for suspension of sanctions, free and fair polls, activation of human rights commission before elections, non partisan behaviour by security forces, greater media freedoms. EU, U.S. vowed to maintain sanctions until elections held, permanent political reform demonstrated; Attorney General responded by filing sanctions lawsuit against EU. South African High Court 8 May ruled Pretoria must investigate March 2007 attack on MDC, civil society activists in Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe Justice Minister Chinamasa said ruling “lies”, violation of sovereignty. Draft constitution, released 30 April, endorsed by MDC-T, Zanu-PF demanded significant rewriting; tensions remain over presidential powers, devolution.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 May 2012

Unchanged

PM Tsvangirai 2 April demanded Mugabe stick to election roadmap, wait for completion of new constitution and reforms before elections; President Mugabe 18 April called for violence-free, open polls, expedition of constitution writing process prior to elections. Govt 10 April rejected rumours Mugabe gravely ill following visit to Singapore; signs of succession power struggle emerging. Political violence on rise since Feb, MDC-T rallies repeatedly shut down; 15 MDC activists, including 3 councillors arrested 23 April for meeting without authorisation, released 24 April without charge. New Zealand journalist arrested 20 April, reportedly on spying allegations.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Apr 2012

Unchanged

Zimbabwe 1 killed, several injured 10 March when Zanu-PF-linked Chipangano militia attacked MDC-T rally, Sunningdale; police failed to prevent clashes. MDC-T rally in Marondera 25 March left several injured when party youths assaulted provincial chairman Johannes Razunguzwa. President Mugabe 10 March said GPA only meant to end violence, secure fresh elections not new constitution. Defence Minister Mnangawa mid-March signed deals with China, Iran to strengthen military cooperation. PM Tsvangirai 8 March warned security chiefs may plan coup if Mugabe loses polls. 1 killed, 7 injured when police attacked residents near Shamva mine; 8 officers arrested. Mining company Zimplats mid-March agreed to engage in controversial indigenisation program.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Mar 2012

Unchanged

Constitutional Select Committee 9 Feb finished constitution draft; recriminations erupted 13 Feb over age clause barring President Mugabe from another term, clause dropped 22 Feb; Mugabe 19 Feb said elections will “definitely” be called in 2012, 21 Feb vowed to stay in power. Govt 14 Feb suspended 29 NGOs in Masvingo province for not renewing annual registration; Media Commission 2 Feb announced it would seek to ban unregistered foreign newspapers that ignored calls to “regularize” status. National Constitutional Assembly 7 Feb said new constitution and equal media access to politicians are election prerequisites. EU 17 Feb renewed arms embargo and govt-to-govt development aid freeze on a 6-month basis, demanded political reforms and prospects for credible elections. 51 individuals and 20 companies removed from restrictive measure lists that authorised visa bans, asset freezes; 2 cabinet ministers on list given special permission to travel to Europe on business involving political, economic “re-engagement”.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Feb 2012

Unchanged

Constitution drafters missed 19 Jan draft deadline; delay blamed on ZANU-PF reversal on death penalty. Electoral Commission Chairman Simpson Mtambanengwe 19 Jan said Registrar General Office, criticised for favouring ZANU-PF, should operate under Commission supervision for next elections. Following 11 Jan clashes with vendors, police raided Harare HQ of former opposition MDC-T arresting activists, employees; MDC accused ZANU-PF of using police to destabilize party ahead of elections.

Zimbabwe

  |  2 Jan 2012

Unchanged

ZANU-PF conference 10 Dec resolved to clamp down on and de-register international NGOs suspected of supporting “regime change”; President Mugabe said he will lead ZANU-PF in elections. Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa 20 Dec said Mugabe may dissolve Parliament in order to force elections 2012, MDC said prerequisite political reforms not yet implemented. Constitution drafting process stalled 22 Dec as ZANU-PF alleged drafters had included provisions not in National Report; MDC-T 24 Dec questioned authenticity of National Report, alleged it was doctored by ZANU-PF. MDC-N and ZANU-PF agreed National Report reflects original input from outreach process. Mugabe’s late Dec promotion of Major General Douglas Nyikayaramba heightened tensions within unity govt; Nyikayaramba previously said PM Tsvangirai constituted “threat to national security”, is accused of political interference. Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) 6 Dec again asked to meet with Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri to discuss political violence, allegedly partisan police enforcement. 2 Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) advocates and chairman of public information rights forum arrested 5 Dec; police 6 Dec raided offices of MMPZ, detained director for several hours.



Zimbabwe

  |  1 Dec 2011

Unchanged

Police 1 Nov allegedly fired tear gas into PM Tsvangirai’s MDC Harare HQ, blocked off building, attacked nearby street vendors; Tsvangirai 2 Nov expressed concern at rising political violence, accused police of being partisan. Tsvangirai 7 Nov blamed Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri for not intervening to protect MDC supporters from ZANU-PF attackers at 6 Nov rally in Chitungwiza, near Harare; Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) co-chair 9 Nov said investigating incident.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Nov 2011

Unchanged

South African Ambassador Mavimbela 14 Oct met with PM Tsvangirai, expressed concern at continued farm invasions. Tsvangirai 17 Oct reiterated opposition to ZANU-PF’s economic indigenisation program. Founding ZANU-PF member Enos Nkala 19 Oct urged party to drop President Mugabe as 2012 candidate. Electoral reform hearing disrupted 17 Oct by alleged ZANU-PF militants. Clashes between ZANU-PF and MDC supporters 29 Oct in Hatcliffe left 5 injured, 1 missing; court-sanctioned MDC rallies in Lupane and Victoria Falls 28-29 Oct blocked by police. South African President Zuma did not meet with Principals in negotiations despite earlier statements this would happen mid-Oct; SADC deployments to JOMIC, approved June, still pending.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Oct 2011

Unchanged

President Mugabe met with European External Action Service managing director for Africa Nick Wescott and U.S. Ambassador Charles Ray during month; positions on sanctions, election monitoring, reforms affirmed by all parties, but talks seen as possible beginning of thaw in relations. ZANU-PF abandoned call for elections in 2011, instead demand polls must be held by March 2012; both MDC factions, other political groupings, dismissed call as unrealistic. Rights group released report documenting over 20 cases of violence, intimidation per day, largely committed by ZANU-PF. Diamond sale plans continued despite late-Aug HRW allegations of human rights violations in Chiadzwa/Marange diamond fields.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Sep 2011

Unchanged

Continued negotiations between power-sharing parties under auspices of South African president Jacob Zuma 12 Aug failed to finalise elections roadmap. Agreement blocked on security sector reform, which ZANU-PF insists is off-limits; composition of electoral commission; and concerns over state violence. Communiqué resulting from 17-18 Aug SADC summit seen as disappointing for MDC: affirmed progress since June summit, urged commitment to GPA implementation and finalisation of roadmap for resolving outstanding issues; slightly modified position on deployment of SADC officials to Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee. Pro-ZANU-PF media called to remove Zuma from SADC facilitator role, but issue not raised at summit. Senior ZANU-PF politburo member General Solomon Mujuru, husband of VP Joyce Mujuru, died in mysterious fire 16 Aug; Mujuru regarded as counterweight to radical elements in ZANU-PF leadership succession contest, generating concerns over repercussions of death. Public hearing on draft Human Rights Commission abandoned late July after parliament invaded by crowd of ZANU-PF supporters, several individuals including journalists and MPs physically assaulted. Controversy regarding reengagement in international diamond trading continued, with early-Aug BBC report alleging abuses at Marange diamond fields.

Zimbabwe

  |  1 Aug 2011

Unchanged

Continued mixed messages on timing of election contributing to uncertainty, insecurity. Despite agreement among negotiating teams early July on new detail and timelines on election “roadmap”, including that elections should be held in third quarter of 2012, ZANU-PF politiburo mid July again called for elections in 2011. Critical issues still unresolved include security sector transformation, staffing of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, validation of final voter’s roll, election monitoring. ZANU-PF early month accused MDC-T of deliberately stalling constitution-making process (COPAC) to ensure elections are delayed to 2012. SADC monitors due to join Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) yet to be deployed. SADC’s Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation late June removed Zimbabwe from its agenda, claiming situation “normalised”; SADC Facilitator Jacob Zuma will now report directly to SADC heads of state. Arrests and harassment of senior MDC figures continued, including MDC-T Minister Jameson Timba and leadership of smaller MDC faction. Brigadier General Douglas Nyikayaramba late June told state-controlled Herald newspaper Tsvangirai is a Western creation being used for regime change.

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CrisisWatch N°145

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