Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or another Dead End? [Podcast]
Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or another Dead End? [Podcast]
Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or Another Dead End?
Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or Another Dead End?
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Podcast / Africa 2 minutes

Zimbabwe: The Road to Reform or another Dead End? [Podcast]

Piers Pigou, Crisis Group’s Southern Africa Project Director, examines the current political situation in Zimbabwe and talks about the urgent reforms needed in order to avoid a new wave of political violence.

zimbabwe-elections-podcast
In this podcast, Piers Pigou examines the current political situation in Zimbabwe and talks about the urgent reforms needed in order to avoid a new wave of political violence. CRISIS GROUP

You can find below a transcript of this podcast.

Hello and welcome to this podcast from the International Crisis Group. I am Gabriela Keseberg Dávalos, Senior Communications Officer, and with me in the studio today is Piers Pigou, Crisis Group’s Southern Africa Project Director. 

Piers, ICG’s latest report on Zimbabwe says that the situation in the country is deteriorating again under a new wave of political violence and that it faces another illegitimate election and crisis if no credible reforms can be implemented. What reforms are necessary? 

The purpose of the global political agreement that was signed in September 2008 was to lay the foundations for a creditable and sustainable election process. This required a series of reforms to take place that were outlined by the articles set out in that global political agreement. Since the government was formed in February 2009, there has been very little progress in a number of areas of critical reform. These key areas for reform focus primarily on the security sector, the electoral reforms, the media and the issues relating to the implementation of law and order. So those are the primary concerns, and there has been inadequate progress in all of those areas.

Is there a danger that the current coalition collapses, triggering further violence and grave consequences for Southern Africa?

There is a danger that the coalition could collapse. There are interests particularly within ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front) who would like to see the coalition collapse and to force an early election with the hope of being able to force through some kind of solution, which really would not be sustainable. That’s the primary danger at the moment; it is not really clear the extent to which that element of ZANU-PF can actually force through that kind of solution, so we are dealing with a very fluid context at the moment in which a number of possible scenarios could unfold.

And what is the most immediate challenge? 

The most immediate challenge is the implementation of the recommendations by the SADAC Troika (Southern African Development Community), which is a body that met at the end of March in Livingstone, Zambia. They received and accepted a report made by the SADAC facilitator, President Jacob Zuma from South Africa, who has recommended a much more robust engagement by the facilitation group in Zimbabwe. This is in response to a number of calls over the years, by civil society and others, but also an increasing recognition that if the current situation continues, Southern Africa will face a long-term problem with Zimbabwe.

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