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抵抗与否认:津巴布韦停滞不前的改革议程
抵抗与否认:津巴布韦停滞不前的改革议程
Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens
Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens
Briefing 82 / Africa

抵抗与否认:津巴布韦停滞不前的改革议程

概况

津巴布韦的过渡和改革呈现出僵局。2008年9月津巴布韦三大主要政党签署的《全面政治协议》还远未完全实施。要在预计将于20个月内举行的选举前应对和解决主要的安全和法律秩序的问题前景渺茫。2011年4月,《全面政治协议》的定期审议机制指出最突出的问题尚未解决,谈判达成的解决办法一再被拖延,且似乎成为一种难以改变的模式。自此之后的这半年来也未有任何重大变化发生。为可持续的政治和经济复苏奠定基础的机会不断被破坏。暴力和镇压成为迫切的问题,但警方似乎不愿或不能有效阻止这些事件发生或者对此进行补救,而要期待联合监督与执行委员会(JOMIC)更主动地参与解决政治暴力问题尚需时日。

地区组织南部非洲发展共同体(SADC),在3月31日发表其“政治、防务与安全合作机构”(Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security) 的公报后,表示将采取更为强硬的态度的承诺尚未兑现。争取民主变革运动(MDC)的两大竞争组织已经大力欢迎由南非总统雅各布·祖马领导的南非发展共同体调解小组更积极地参与到津巴布韦的事务中来。但是,在当前权力分配格局中仍占主导地位的总统穆加贝的津巴布韦非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线党(ZANU-PF)对调解小组进行阻挠,尤其是由于它希望保留其对于安全部门的垄断控制,因为它依赖安全部门作为其领导权的最终防线。

《全面政治协议》并没有明确如何最终进行选举。问题总是围绕着选举将于何时举行,在选举之前能完成怎样的改革展开。津巴布韦非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线宣称自由和平等的选举所需的条件已经或很快就能满足并要求在2011年举行选举。南非发展共同体对此进行否认,认为首先需要的是改革。津巴布韦非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线最近在九月份再次呼吁在2012年第一季度进行选举,似乎也同样不现实。大多数分析家一致认为,津巴布韦最早可能可以准备好进行选举也要到2012年年底。然而,宪法撰写的最终定稿以及对选举和媒体改革的实施可能会进一步被拖延,再加上安全和法律秩序等方面的考虑,2013年上半年是更为现实的举行选举的时间。

10月底和11月初政治暴力和镇压的高涨,以及津巴布韦非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线被指责联合警方共同进行政治镇压,已经被一些分析家解释为试图瓦解《全面政治协议》和尽早举行选举的又一次尝试。穆加贝最近表示他不能强行决定一个2012年的选举日期,表明他的党内正逐渐意识到不达成共识就进行选举将是适得其反的。但党内的强大力量,特别是那些推动穆加贝参加连任选举的力量,仍然致力于令投票尽快举行。津巴布韦非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线12月6日至10日在布拉瓦约的会议应该明确它到底将支持和推进什么选举政策。

南非发展共同体,与非盟一起作为《全面政治协议》的保证人,需要确保如果选举最终将在具有足够自由和平等的条件下举行,就要在一些关键问题上取得切实进展。党际谈判基本忽略了在安全与法律和秩序问题上存在的分歧。南非发展共同体需要找到改变这一状况的方法。其策略一直是将《全面政治协议》的改革议程减少到只包含更易管控的一系列优先事项,并加强对改革实施的监控。一个反映《全面政治协议》的尚待解决的问题的选举路线图草案已经制定,但有关政治暴力、安全部门改革、津巴布韦选举委员会(ZEC)构成和《全面政治协议》监控的关键分歧仍未解决。六月份,南非发展共同体批准了“政治、防务与安全合作机构”的建议,将部署一个技术小组与联合监督与执行委员会共同工作。增强南非发展共同体的眼线对其促进协议实施的能力至关重要,但目前有关部署尚未进行。

自《全面政治协议》签署以来,危机组织多次指出津巴布韦在过渡阶段的两大挑战是:建立一个成熟的政治体系,使政党间能够进行合作和负责任的竞争;以及应对可能破坏有意义的改革的安全问题。本简报评估了南非发展共同体在三月份之后的重新定位,以及与不断变化的安全形势有关的政治和体制发展。

约翰内斯堡/布鲁塞尔,2011年11月16日

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and his wife Grace attend a meeting of his ruling ZANU-PF party's youth league in Harare, Zimbabwe, on 7 October 2017. Philimon Bulawayo/REUTERS
Commentary / Africa

Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens

President Robert Mugabe plunged Zimbabwe into political crisis by firing his long-time ally and enforcer Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 6 November 2017. In this Q&A prior to an apparent army coup in Mnangagwa's favour on 14-15 November, Crisis Group’s Senior Southern Africa Consultant Piers Pigou gives the background to the struggle to succeed the 93-year-old president.

This Q&A on the background to Zimbabwe’s political crisis of November 2017 was published just before an apparent army coup on the night of 14-15 November.

What’s behind the new political crisis in Zimbabwe?

The crisis began on 6 November when President Mugabe fired Emmerson Mnangagwa and expelled him from the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party. This was not unexpected. The powerful vice president had become a serious rival and threat to the physically weakened but still astute Mugabe.

Since Vice President Joice Mujuru’s unceremonious removal from office in late 2014, there has been a debilitating factional battle within ZANU-PF over who would succeed the aging president. It pitted Mnangagwa and his supporters against a group of powerful senior and vocal party members – dubbed the “G40”. They rallied around First Lady Grace Mugabe and by mid-2016 it was evident Mugabe tacitly favoured his wife’s associates, who dominated ZANU-PF’s Youth and Women’s Leagues.

During this period, veterans of the liberation war, a key pillar of Mugabe’s support, broke ranks and fell behind Mnangagwa. However, Mnangagwa was unable to embrace them, fearful this would be used against him as further evidence of disloyalty. Instead, he distanced himself from those who supported and promoted him, which made him look weak and indecisive.

His eventual fall played out in awkward slow motion, with the pendulum of his political fortunes swinging back and forth as analysts feverishly speculated whether or not his ambitions to succeed the president would be thwarted. Some expected Mnangagwa’s removal to play out at the party’s extraordinary congress in December. There is speculation that Mugabe acted ahead of this out of fear that his health might rapidly deteriorate.

Where does the army and security sector stand on Mnangagwa’s firing?

Mnangagwa’s support within the security sector, which is crucial to ZANU-PF’s continued rule, supposedly made him too big to fall. Evidently, this was not the case. But his removal has lifted the lid on growing discontent.

A public statement on 13 November by the commander of the defence forces, General Constantine Chiwenga, sent an unambiguous warning that internal dynamics in ZANU-PF, including counter-revolutionary infiltration into the party and hostile attitudes toward the security sector from certain politicians, were destabilising Zimbabwe and generating insecurity. Without mentioning Mnangagwa, Chiwenga called for an end to the unfolding purge of party elements with a liberation history, warning that if the integrity of Zimbabwe’s revolution was threatened, the army would intervene. Although couched in defence of the Zimbabwe’s commander in chief, President Mugabe, Chiwenga implicitly was pointing his finger at him, the first lady and certain G40 elements.

This unprecedented public intervention has sharpened tensions within both ZANU-PF and the security forces. How Mugabe responds to this will be critical if further tensions are to be avoided. He has allowed senior officers to make political statements before, but generally when these were about the opposition. On several occasions in the last two years, he publicly has expressed displeasure at their intervention in internal party affairs. Chiwenga’s statement goes beyond previous interventions, and Mugabe will have to employ all his guile if he intends to ensure continued accommodation with the armed forces.

What does Mnangagwa’s dismissal mean for Zimbabwe’s mutating political landscape?

Mnangagwa’s networks within the party and state administration insulated him to some extent from Mugabe’s machinations and the clear intent of the first lady to bring him down. By mid-2017, it was clear that the G40 was in fact Mugabe’s own project (albeit one he may not have full control over), employed along with his wife as a foil to contain Mnangagwa’s ambitions. As the noose tightened, the crude choreography of accusations against him crescendoed into a series of public humiliations, during which he was accused of disloyalty, deceit and tribalism. It all pointed to his inevitable removal. Yet, inexplicably, he hung on, seemingly without a coherent plan and unable to convincingly push back.

G40 acolytes in the provinces have drawn up a list of Mnangagwa allies they want purged. This includes long-time State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi and recently fired Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who has been the public face of re-engagement with international financial institutions. Some may be expelled from the ZANU-PF, but most will be enmeshed in internal disciplinary processes that will significantly frustrate any possible organised pushback from within ZANU-PF’s provincial structures. A purge of senior civil servants perceived as aligned to Mnangagwa also is expected.

President Mugabe turns 94 in February and remains the party’s presidential candidate for the 2018 election. What kind of succession is he planning and will he support the elevation of his wife, Grace Mugabe, to the vice presidency?

Having removed his major rival, Mugabe can now stage-manage his own succession, which likely will occur only after he dies in office. ZANU-PF’s extraordinary congress, scheduled 12 to 17 December, will see a reconfiguration and possible expansion of ZANU-PF’s presidium to include three vice presidents (also known as 2nd secretary), most likely the incumbent, Vice President Phelekezela Mphoko, Grace Mugabe and Defence Minister Sydney Sekeremayi. The latter has been enthusiastically promoted over the last few months by Grace and the G40 as the man Mugabe trusts most. But, like everyone else, Sekeremayi is a mere appointee and serves at the president’s pleasure. He does not have his own power base, and in late 2014 he had to be rescued by Mugabe after being caught in the cross-hairs of the anti-Mujuru purge.

ZANU-PF’s Women and Youth Leagues, now supported by Vice President Mphoko, have called on Mugabe to appoint Grace as vice president. She is undoubtedly ambitious and may well have her sights on the top job. Mugabe, the final arbiter, has supported his wife’s controversial foray into the political battlefield, where she has been effectively promoting his political interests. But he is aware that she is not popular and that such a blatant dynastic move may well galvanise the fragmented opposition, as well as disgruntled elements within ZANU-PF. Her elevation to first vice president would also not guarantee that she take over once Mugabe dies. Indeed, her political cachet is likely to be significantly diminished when her husband is no longer in office.

Can Mnangagwa stage a comeback?

When the axe fell last week, Mnangagwa fled to Mozambique, fearing for his own safety. This was an irony not lost on those who welcome the downfall of a man nicknamed the Crocodile, with a reputation for brutality and once regarded as untouchable. His first public pushback, a statement from an unknown location, attacked the first family for treating ZANU-PF as their personal property and promising he would be back to take control of the situation within a matter of weeks.

Mnangagwa’s options are certainly now more constrained. It is unclear whether he will attempt to undermine ZANU-PF’s election preparations or if he has the capacity to do so. There is also the question of how he should relate to the opposition and especially its principal leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), with whom he has been accused of secretly conspiring. To join the opposition would be used as further “evidence” of his alleged complicity, and may well further divide the opposition, many of whom want nothing to do with a man accused of an array of gross human rights violations and of having sought to disrupt the opposition. But to strike out on his own (as Mujuru did when she formed her National People’s Party) likely would have him heading only a small and marginal party in a fragmented political landscape.

What does this development mean in terms of improving Zimbabwe’s prospects for re-engagement with international creditors, reform and recovery?

There is widespread uncertainty regarding what will happen next. Tsvangirai, whose own health problems have fed speculation that he may not be able to lead the major opposition coalition, the MDC Alliance, in national elections expected in April 2018, has rightly warned that the political environment is dangerously unstable.

Economic conditions have visibly deteriorated over the last two months. The volume of physical money circulating in both the formal and informal economy has contracted sharply. Inflationary pressures exacerbated by this liquidity crisis have driven up the cost of living, leading to a crash in the purchasing power of salaries paid into bank accounts. At the same time, the government is continuing along a dangerous path of deficit financing, with the new Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo announcing the budget deficit will climb to $1.82 billion this year (the total budget is $5.6 billion). The government has no plan beyond the limited option of domestic borrowing, which has skyrocketed since 2013. Zimbabwe is once again heading back into hyperinflationary territory.

Mnangagwa was held out by many as the best hope within ZANU-PF for piloting an economic recovery predicated on re-engagement with international creditors and a package of reform that would instil a measure of much needed confidence. Yet evidence that he would or could deliver on this front is not persuasive.

Those now in the ascendency within ZANU-PF in any event are unlikely to explore these options, especially before the elections. They have demonstrated no intention of doing so. In theory, Mnangagwa could lay out the re-engagement, reform and recovery plan that he apparently was unable to deliver because he was constrained by internal ZANU-PF factionalism. That said, if he does not come up with a coherent strategy that moves beyond efforts to clawback power within ZANU-PF, few will be convinced that he has the vision to pilot such a comeback, let alone confront the bigger challenge of a national recovery plan.