津巴布韦:过渡期的政治与安全挑战
津巴布韦:过渡期的政治与安全挑战
Table of Contents
  1. Overview
Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe
Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe
Briefing 70 / Africa

津巴布韦:过渡期的政治与安全挑战

概述

津巴布韦的统一政府执政已经进入第二年,民主变革的困难已经突现。自2009年2月以来,政府在恢复政治与社会稳定,结束镇压和稳定经济方面取得了一定进步,但在重重威胁下,改革进程仍可能偏离轨道。危险因素具体包括:安全部门领导掌握重权,却顽固不化拒绝改革;津巴布韦非洲民族联盟(简称民盟)和争取民主变革运动(简称民革运)之间争端不断而且各自党内帮派斗争频繁。南非和非洲南部其它监督过渡程序协议实施的国家必须敦促有关各方,尤其是津巴布韦总统罗伯特·加布里埃尔·穆加贝,坚持始终成功地完成过渡。援助国应对非洲国家的这一努力提供支持。

津巴布韦的统一政府是在《全面政治和解协议》的框架下建立的。总统穆加贝和民主改革运动两个派系首领摩根·茨万吉拉伊和亚瑟·穆坦巴拉都在协议上签了字。政府建立之初,许多人将信将疑。大多数评论员对新政府毫无信心。他们预言说,茨万吉拉伊即使身居总理职位,在穆加贝的“挑拨、统治、收买和摧毁”的伎俩下仍然会不堪一击。然而尽管困难重重,新政府开端良好:学校和医院重新开张;公务员领取工资重回岗位;津巴布韦元被暂停使用;商品重回商场货架;原本迅速蔓延的霍乱也得到控制。人权活动者报告说侵权行为大幅度减少。捐助国收到了一份雄心勃勃却也不失务实精神的重建方案,寻求价值85亿美元的国外援助与投资。

但可能扰乱过渡进程的一些令人忧虑的因素已经开始突现:强硬派的军队统帅和民盟其他穆加贝的忠实追随者拒绝执行政府命令,抵制新的安全部门并且公开对茨万吉拉伊表示轻蔑;强占农田的行为仍然猖獗;虽然《全面政治和解协议》的签订引起了广泛关注,但民盟仍在拖延或无视对协议的重要承诺,同时以保护多项行政特权为由阻挠变法维新。目前被搁置的重要措施有:土地审计,任命民革运成员为省长,结束任意拘留逮捕行为,由全国安全理事会取代臭名昭著的联合行动指挥部来行使常规安全职责,以及就新宪法的制定和选举的准备工作进行公开协商。

这些迟迟得不到落实的改革步骤反映了两个深层次的问题,它们是本简报重点讨论的内容。首先,必须建立一套成熟的政治系统和开放的政府,从而使民盟和民革运既能相互竞争也能共同合作。要达到这一目标很难,在擅长制造分裂的穆加贝统治下更是难上加难,但民盟其他领袖,包括副总统乔伊斯·穆朱鲁和国防部长埃默森·姆南加古瓦所领导的派系,已经意识到他们的政党已经失去了民心,急需进行领导换代。民革运的职责包括:对工会、人权组织和妇女组织等支持者继续给予信任和保持合作;并且向全国人民证明自己有治国能力,是一个称职和公开的政党,而且有能力保护独立以来社会变革的成果。

安全问题也同样具有挑战性。一小撮“安全官僚”利用职权及同穆加贝相互依赖的关系对过渡期事务行使否决权。他们的动机各异:有的担心失去权势和权势带来的经济利益;有的担心因滥用政治和经济职权遭到起诉;还有一些人认为民革运和茨万吉拉伊是白人和西方利益集团的傀儡,因此必须防止他们窃取解放成果。津巴布韦各个党派的政治人士都在考虑一方面如何诱劝这些军官退休,哪怕让他们保留财产并给予一定本国豁免权,另一方面如何培训一支尊重人权和民选政府的专业安全部队。

虽然津巴布韦应对今后的任务负主要责任,但南部非洲发展共同体作为《全面政治和解协议》监护机构,应重视自己的职责。南非总统雅各布·祖马在进行调停活动的过程中,必须向津巴布韦各方说明地区各国不会容忍任何违反协议的行为。祖马最近任命了三名德高望重的顾问来监督津巴布韦事务,此举表明他将在《全面政治和解协议》的落实和尊重法治上对穆加贝采取更为强硬的态度。

广大国际社会,尤其是英国、美国、欧盟和中国,应谨慎调整贸易、援助和投资政策来鼓励进步;针对阻挠变革的人员和组织实施制裁;同时取消对经济复苏起关键作用的实体的制裁,从而支持和补充南部非洲发展共同体的工作。援助国应通过公开透明的机构,如多捐款方信托基金,提供新的经济复苏与发展援助,包括农村发展、卫生与教育发展、及强化司法和立法机构及民间社会。

本简报将重点分析津巴布韦政党和安全事务及南非的调停工作。以后的报道将分析其它与变革有关的重要议题,如变法维新、法制与和解、制裁措施和安全机构改革。

As Zimbabwe enters its second year under a unity government, the challenges to democratic transformation have come into sharp focus. Despite reasonable progress in restoring political and social stability, ending widespread repression and stabilising the economy since February 2009, major threats could still derail the reform process. In particular, resistance of intransigent and still powerful security sector leaders and fractious in-fighting between and within the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) must be addressed now. South Africa and other countries in southern Africa – who monitor the accord that guides the transition – must press the parties, and particularly President Robert Mugabe, to see the transition through to a successful conclusion. Donors should back their efforts.

The unity government, created under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by Mugabe and MDC factional leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, was born under a cloud of scepticism. Most observers gave it little chance, predicting that, even as prime minister, Tsvangirai would fall prey to Mugabe’s “divide, rule, co-opt and destroy” strategy. Against the odds, the government started well: schools and hospitals re-opened; civil servants were paid and returned to work; the Zimbabwe dollar was shelved; goods returned to store shelves; and a cholera epidemic was controlled. Human rights activists reported a significant drop in abuses. Donors generally received well an ambitious yet pragmatic reconstruction program calling for $8.5 billion in foreign aid and investment.

But major concerns undermining the transition process have come to the fore. Hardline generals and other Mugabe loyalists in ZANU-PF are refusing to implement the government’s decisions, boycotting the new national security organ and showing public disdain for Tsvangirai. Farm seizures have continued virtually unabated. Most attention has focused on completing the GPA, but ZANU-PF has delayed or ignored important commitments in that document, while stalling constitutional reforms by insisting on preserving broad executive privileges. Key blocked steps include a land audit, appointment of MDC governors, an end of arbitrary detentions and arrests, regular functioning of the National Security Council in place of the infamous Joint Operations Command, public consultations on a new constitution and preparation for elections.

These delays reflect the two deeper challenges on which this briefing concentrates. First, a mature political system must develop, so that ZANU-PF and MDC engage as both competitors in the political arena and partners in the inclusive government. This will be difficult, especially under the divisive Mugabe, but other ZANU-PF leaders, including the factions led by Vice President Joice Mujuru, and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa, know that their party has lost much popular support and needs a generational shift. For its part, the MDC must keep faith and engaged with its broad following in the transition process, including trade unions, human rights groups and women’s organisations. It must also show the country as a whole that it is a viable custodian of the state – competent, transparent, and capable of preserving social change since independence.

Equally challenging are security issues. A relatively small number of “securocrats” use their positions and symbiotic relationship with Mugabe to exercise veto power over the transition. They are motivated by differing factors: fear of losing power and its financial benefits, fear of prosecution for political or financial abuses, and a belief that they guard the liberation heritage against Tsvangirai and the MDC, which they view as fronts for white and Western interests. Zimbabweans across the political spectrum are quietly considering how to ease these officers into retirement, even at the cost of allowing them to keep their assets and providing them a degree of impunity from domestic prosecution, while simultaneously professionalising security forces respectful of human rights and a democratically elected government.

While the primary tasks ahead rest with Zimbabweans, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) must take seriously its GPA guarantor role. South African President Jacob Zuma’s activism as mediator must convey the message that the region will abide no alternative to the GPA. His recent actions, including appointment of three respected advisers to oversee the Zimbabwe account, are welcome indications he will be tougher vis-à-vis Mugabe on GPA obligations and respect for rule of law.

The broader international community, especially the UK, U.S., EU and China, should support and complement SADC’s efforts through careful calibration of trade, aid, and investment to encourage progress; maintenance of targeted sanctions on those thwarting the transition; and lifting of sanctions on entities key to economic recovery. Donors should provide new recovery and development assistance – including for rural development, health and education and strengthening of the judiciary, legislature and civil society – through transparent mechanisms, such as the Multi-Donor Trust Fund.

This briefing focuses on political party and security issues, as well as South Africa’s mediation. Subsequent reporting will analyse other topics vital to the transition, including constitutional and legal reform, justice and reconciliation, sanctions policies and security sector reform.

Harare/Pretoria/Nairobi/Brussels, 3 March 2010

Angry protesters barricade the main route to Zimbabwe's capital Harare from Epworth township after the government announced a hike in fuel prices, on 14 January 2019. AFP/Jekesai Njikizana
Q&A / Africa

Revolt and Repression in Zimbabwe

The Zimbabwean government’s decision to hike fuel prices has sparked fierce opposition. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Senior Consultant Piers Pigou explains how economic hardship is driving ordinary citizens to unprecedented acts of resistance.

What triggered this explosion of unrest?

On 12 January, in response to persistent fuel shortages compounded by manipulation and mismanagement of a currency crisis, President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced a fuel price hike of over 200 per cent to $3.31 per litre – making the country’s petrol price the highest in the world. It is unclear how this move would address the shortages, outside of pricing fuel out of the reach of many; already, the knock-on effects of transport and commodity price increases are adding evident stress to ordinary Zimbabweans’ lives.

The massive rise sparked a general strike, along with widespread protests, which in many areas was characterised by violence and considerable destruction of property. Those behind the strike did not call for demonstrations, but thousands, especially young people, took to the streets, with many looting shops and burning cars or buildings. Protests were concentrated in and around the main opposition strongholds, the capital Harare and Bulawayo, but also appeared in cities elsewhere across the country. In turn the government ordered a vicious clampdown – deploying soldiers as well as police.

At the end of the second day of protests on 15 January, Zimbabwe’s Doctors for Human Rights released a statement saying “hundreds shot, tens estimated dead in rampant rights violations across Zimbabwe”. Their assessment included reports of 107 patients treated for gunshot and blunt trauma wounds. For days after that, it was hard to obtain updated casualty figures. The government blocked internet services, both at the outset of the unrest and again on 18 January, severely disrupting the flow of information and contributing to widespread confusion.

The scale of violence is the worst the country has witnessed in some time.

On 18 January, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum was able to publish consolidated statistics counting 844 human rights violations during the general strike. These numbers include: at least twelve killings; at least 78 gunshot injuries; at least 242 cases of assault, torture or inhumane and degrading treatment, including dog bites; 466 arbitrary arrests and detentions; and many displacements (with the number being verified). Other violations are invasion of privacy, obstruction of movement, and limitation of media freedoms and access to information. 

Protesters have also engaged in intimidation, violence, vandalism and looting. The government confirmed that they stoned one police officer to death; there are several unconfirmed reports of fatalities and injuries among the security forces. The extent of the property damage has yet to be determined, though human rights groups have documented at least 46 instances. The country’s main cities are at a standstill.

The government and media have accused the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), trade unions and civil society groups backed by foreign funders (the U.S. and Germany were named) of orchestrating the protests as part of a campaign to undermine the government and elevate the MDC’s leader, Nelson Chamisa, into office. Such accusations are par for the course when the government faces protests; based on past experience, it seems unlikely it will supply compelling evidence to support these claims.

Did the unrest come out of the blue?

Anger at the government has been building for some time. On my last visit to the capital Harare in December 2018, the country’s economic woes were plain to see. Prices in shops were soaring, retailers were closing down and queues for petrol were lengthening as the country struggled to juggle payments for competing import priorities. Control over the country’s fuel supply is in the hands of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), and the huge financial benefits that come with it are reportedly causing factional rivalry. There is widespread public speculation that the shortages are caused by inter-elite squabbles or even deliberately engineered.

People in Harare complain that the administration is akin to a new driver in an old taxi.

The price hike thus ignited the already dry tinder on the ground. On 13 January, one day after the announcement, civil society groups backed a call by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions for a three-day “stayaway”, or general strike.

Underlying the skyrocketing prices of fuel, food and other goods is a currency crisis that has been worsening through much of 2018. In 2009, facing similar hyper-inflation, the government abandoned the national currency, and switched the economy over completely to the U.S. dollar. After an election in 2013 in which it ran on a platform of job creation and economic recovery, the ZANU-PF government demonstrated astonishing levels of financial delinquency. It “financed” its own systematic over-expenditure with massive borrowing. Domestic debt, which stood at just $442 million in 2013, surged to $10.5 billion by February 2018 and has climbed further over the last year. In 2016, as more and more dollars drained out of the economy, the government introduced a new “bond note” currency, nominally at parity with the dollar, in an attempt to make up for cash shortages, as well as direct electronic payments into bank accounts for goods and services. These payments included the salaries of civil servants, the last bastion of formal employment. It was the equivalent of printing money over and above the value of the reserves in the central bank.

The government continues to claim parity between the bond note, electronic balances and the dollar. With most financial transactions being cashless, this mythology of official parity was maintained, although the bond notes and electronic reserves were trading at a lower rate. But both the latter quasi-currencies have rapidly depreciated since the government introduced fiscal and monetary reforms in October, leading prices for goods and services to spike across the board. The runaway inflation in turn has prompted panic buying and widespread shortages of critical goods such as medicines. It has cut the value of ordinary citizens’ earnings and savings by more than half, further impoverishing an already struggling populace.

In the weeks following the fiscal reforms, as purchasing power evaporated, the entire public-sector work force began organising to confront the government. Since early December, Zimbabwean doctors have been at loggerheads with the government, crippling central parts of an already degraded health care system. On 8 January, the Apex Council, an umbrella body representing civil servants, issued the government the statutory two-week notice that it would call a general strike to protest the government’s refusal to pay civil servants in hard currency, namely U.S. dollars.

Is there precedent for this level of violence accompanying protests in Zimbabwe?

The scale of violence is the worst the country has witnessed in some time. Before 1 August 2018, when the military shot dead six civilians in Harare, Zimbabwe’s security forces did not use live ammunition in crowd control. Now they seem to rely on it.

In another escalation, the government has deployed the military to suppress protests and make arrests, highlighting the ineffectiveness of the police or, as some believe, that the government does not trust the police to crack down on protests with sufficient fervour. The response also reflects an embedded military influence in government decision making and could usher in a new phase of repression in Zimbabwe.

Nor has the country seen a comparable level of violence, looting and destruction by ordinary Zimbabweans. Some of it is undoubtedly orchestrated, but most appears to be spontaneous. More than ever, young people are willing to confront the government in the streets, reflecting desperation and their deep-seated frustration. Anecdotes are surfacing of huge sections of road being shut down and railway carriages being dragged off the rails and into the streets, signaling new levels of revolt. Such actions suggest a growing number of Zimbabweans are less risk averse in terms of a confrontational approach, adding a highly dangerous new element into the mix.

Just fifteen months ago, a coup forced strongman Robert Mugabe from office. Wasn’t Zimbabwe full of hope then?

The optimism that accompanied the ouster of long-time President Robert Mugabe in November 2017 has evaporated. For a time, many Zimbabweans thought his replacement, Mnangagwa, might be a reformer, though he had long been a ruling-party stalwart who was Mugabe’s vice president. The international community, including a number of critics, were prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Now, however, cynicism is growing in many quarters, albeit for diverse reasons. There are signs of discontent even among ZANU-PF loyalists and members of the security forces, who are also bearing the brunt of economic decay.

Controversy blighted Zimbabwe’s much anticipated elections on 30 July 2018, even though the courts endorsed the outcome. Many believe that the use of state resources in Mnangagwa’s favour pushed him over the finish line in the presidential contest. Unprecedented spending by the government ahead of the elections contradicted promises of financial prudence. The MDC refuses to recognise Mnangagwa’s government as legitimate, while the government accuses the opposition of being unpatriotic and promoting a nefarious regime change agenda. The country is polarised, attitudes on both sides have hardened and prospects for bridge-building have withered.

Since the elections, the new government has managed to deliver few tangible results. People in Harare complain that the administration is akin to a new driver in an old taxi. Many see the government simply as a reconfiguration of the ZANU-PF, now freed from Mugabe but dominated by security-sector interests and factions aligned to the new president.

Questions are also surfacing over President Mnangagwa’s judgment. He left the country immediately after announcing the fuel price hike, ostensibly to search for trade deals in Russia, Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. But such deals are unlikely to resolve the immediate economic issues facing Zimbabwe: while he may drum up some foreign investment in the country, those governments will not provide much needed budgetary support. Nobody believes that Mnangagwa will enjoy anything like the enthusiastic reception he got last year if he goes, as planned, to this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos.

Already in December, one of Zimbabwe’s leading political scientists was telling me that “the light at the end of the tunnel has gone out”. He meant that Mnangagwa’s government, while consolidating its authority politically, would be unable to deliver a sustainable, broad-based economic recovery.

[F]urther unrest in the coming days, weeks or months is a question of when, rather than if.

What could happen next?

For almost two decades, observers of Zimbabwe have warned of pending economic collapse, mass hunger and social implosion. Conditions steadily worsened, but Zimbabweans employed an impressive array of survival strategies, from emigration producing diaspora remittances to work in the informal sector, where “making a plan”, as per a common expression, has become something of an art form. The apparent stability has fed complacency, a sense that Zimbabwe can keep on bumping along the bottom. But evidence on the streets now suggests that may no longer be true.

The security clampdown is continuing. Notwithstanding its chilling effect on some potential protesters, further unrest in the coming days, weeks or months is a question of when, rather than if. Another initiative for a general strike is already in motion; calls for a “Stayaway 2” on 23-25 January are circulating on social media. Key questions are how organised it will be, given the likelihood that many organisers of the initial street actions are detained, and how the state will respond. Already, there is a de facto nationwide shutdown as towns and city centres remain empty. People cannot move freely because transport is too expensive. Many cannot afford to go to work.

Zimbabwe desperately needs reform if the government is to keep the country reasonably stable and preserve its re-engagement with international donors

At the same time, the information gap makes it difficult to judge what is happening. Amid endemic misinformation and fake news, some exaggeration of the country’s disarray is likely in play. But in any case, it is unlikely that the mood of confrontation will dissipate quickly. The government may be able to put a lid on unrest and take activists off the streets, but that will not address the conditions that have brought people out. More confrontational protests seem inevitable even if the crackdown curbs protests for now.

What should outside powers do about Zimbabwe’s crisis?

The biggest challenge at this juncture is to get the government to do something about the unrest besides shoot and arrest protesters. Zimbabwe desperately needs reform if the government is to keep the country reasonably stable and preserve its re-engagement with international donors, a process that started with Mugabe’s ouster. To pull off that reform, it needs broad political consensus, including within both the ruling party and the opposition, but also within other social constituencies. The country is polarised on multiple fronts – ideally the government would commit to supporting the development and implementation of some form of national reconciliation strategy to at least start to heal these divisions. For now, however, such a strategy is not even part of political discourse.

It is unclear, however, who has the leverage to nudge the government from repression to reform – or if anyone wants to do so. In the neighbourhood, the Southern African Development Community did not immediately respond to the unrest. Wider international reaction has been muted. Civil society groups have expressed concern and diaspora groups have marched in Johannesburg. But the South African government, traditionally engaged in Zimbabwean politics, has downplayed the situation. With the prospect of more bloodshed and large-scale refugee flight, the region, and indeed the world, cannot afford to ignore the crisis.

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