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Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections
Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections
Briefing 86 / Africa

津巴布韦的制裁僵局

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I. 概述

津巴布韦必须在2013年6月底前举行选举,但想要保证适当的选举条件,亟需改革。区域组织南部非洲发展共同体(Southern African Development Community, SADC)呼吁取消对津制裁,声称制裁是严重妨碍改革的政治障碍。实施制裁的国家和组织——特别是欧盟(EU)和美国,认为改革的欠缺恰恰证明需要继续实施制裁,虽然制裁已经变得更具象征意义而非推动变革的驱动力。目前的制裁僵局反映了津巴布韦政治更大范围的瘫痪。在下次选举前校准并全面撤销制裁以便在改革方面取得广泛进步的机会可能已经错失了。三年前当《全球政治协议》(Global Political Agreement, GPA)新鲜出炉、联合政府刚刚成立的时候,可能还存在这样的机会。但是,通过一种区分制裁类型、关注选举所需具体改革的协调一致的方式,来推动进步并打破目前僵局的机会仍然存在,不容错失。

津巴布韦的政治局势十分脆弱。88岁总统罗伯特·穆加贝的时代正不可避免地接近尾声,选举日渐迫近,人们对这个国家可能正迈向新的镇压和冲突的担忧也与日俱增。穆加贝的津巴布韦非洲民族联盟(爱国阵线)(Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front, ZANU-PF)宣称GPA及随后商定的改革进程已照常进行,目前的情况有利于举行一次自由、公正的投票。争取民主变革运动(Movement for Democratic Change, MDC)阵营对此并不赞同,但也未具体指出其认为的必要的最小化改革是什么。SADC和大多数国际观察家认为举行自由、平等选举的基础尚未奠定。尽管津巴布韦已经取得了一些经济和社会进步,但在核心改革和实施一些已达成一致的事宜方面仍然存在大的缺陷,陷入了僵局。最重要的是,ZANU-PF仍保持对安全机构的全面控制,这让人们更有理由担心选举可能导致2008年暴力事件的重演,人民的民主意愿会遭到拒绝。

针对2001年至2008年期间发生的侵犯人权和与选举相关的权力滥用,美国和欧盟采取了一系列旨在推动改革的措施。一些措施针对特定个人(如财产冻结和旅行禁令);其余措施则涉及到与国际金融机构和政府对政府间关系有关的政策(如对贷款、信用和发展援助的限制以及武器禁运)。诸多制裁措施中,尽管出于人道主义援助和开展基础发展合作等目的存在有例外情况,且这些措施也互有区别,但是为简单起见,本简报以术语“制裁”通称之,这也因为津巴布韦和南部非洲的政治对话中通常也如此处理这一概念。实施和保持制裁的国家和组织把制裁与具体的改革或为民主进行的更广泛斗争联系在一起,但他们并未有效传达这个概念,也就从未获得过南部非洲地区对于这个概念的支持。

ZANU-PF试图阻挠改革,动员人们反对它所认为的对国家主权的内部和外部威胁。作为这种企图的一部分,ZANU-PF从政治上操纵制裁事件并对其进行宣传。它提出改革取决于取消制裁,并指责MDC中由总理摩根·茨万吉拉伊领导的一个派系(MDC-T)违背了GPA承诺,没有推动制裁的取消。MDC-T辩称,它对制裁并无控制权,如果停止违背GPA的行为并且ZANU-PF不再阻碍改革,将为撤销制裁提供一个更坚实的基础。穆加贝的政党将对津巴布韦的各种制裁措施混在一起——其中包括多边机构实施的限制措施,指出“制裁”是导致糟糕经济的核心原因。MDC-T派则认为制裁措施相对来说涉及面窄且有针对性,ZANU-PF才是破坏经济的始作俑者。

SADC坚持认为制裁会加剧现有困境,不利于找出建设性的解决办法,撤销制裁可以使已取得的进展得到承认,成为信心建立的重要举措。然而,制裁的取消如何能解决谈判僵局并促进协议的有效实施,就这一点的衡量指标各方尚未达成一致意见,更不用说对此作出保证了。MDC-T在这个问题上闪烁其词,ZANU-PF则采取了专制主义的立场,两方一道扼杀了达成建设性折衷意见的前景。GPA的签署方们不太可能同意一项将完全撤销制裁与改革议程结合起来的实际方案,特别是当他们在起草选举路线图方面陷入僵局的情况下。此外,SADC也不太可能提出这样一个建议。这反过来使得欧盟或美国不可能在其内部或国内迈出艰难一步,单方面解除所有制裁。

只有大胆行动才有机会打破僵局,但问题的解决既不应该与改革议程割裂开来——特别是在这个问题与迅速迫近、具有潜在灾难性的选举季相关的情况下,也不应该采取不全则无的方式。任何方法都必须基于以下根基,那就是可为局势向前发展提供一个更具实质性和微妙的基础——目前尚欠缺这一根基。实施制裁的欧盟、美国和其他各方应该明确区分各类制裁措施,特别是:

  • 对有针对性的措施及其影响进行全面审视,公开将具体个人或实体作为针对目标的附加详细原因,并酌情扩展措施涉及范围,对目标个人的成年家庭成员实施制裁(一些措施已经如是操作);
     
  • 在给予目标个人申请公务旅行签证的机会方面显示更大的灵活性,从而化解关于签证问题阻挠了津巴布韦政府合法公务活动的批评;
     
  • 继续实施武器禁运,但要更努力津巴布韦安全部门接触,促进对话,探讨其在民主秩序中所承担的责任和可能的专业培训所需的条件;
     
  • 发起一项调查,全面研究限制措施对政府与政府间发展合作造成的影响,并寻求与SADC进行谈判,制定一项旨在达成如下目的的战略:(a)暂停那些和实施与选举相关的关键改革有关的禁令;(b)在各方同意的时间框架内,更有力地促进SADC的发展。

GPA签署方和协调人——SADC和南非,特别是作为牵头国的南非——也必须采取如下行动:

  • ZANU-PF应该停止专制姿态,而MDC阵营(特别是MDC-T),作为联合政府中的政党和参与者,应该为缓和并最终解除制裁提出一个一致的行动计划。
     
  • 如选举路线图草案中所提出的,SADC和MDC阵营应与协调方一起,将各种实际方案摆上台面,这些方案要把缓和并最终解除制裁与一个有时限的实际改革议程联系起来;而达成的协议必须有一个受监管的实施框架作为支持。
     
  • 协调方应该更积极地参与进来,采取包括向阻碍改革并违反现有规定的GPA签署方施加更多压力等措施,以最终确定选举路线图及其实施框架。
     
  • SADC应该帮助津巴布韦和国际金融机构就解决债务问题找到共同立场和可持续的解决办法,以使津巴布韦重新获得信贷额度和预算支持。

约翰内斯堡/布鲁塞尔, 2012年2月6日

A woman walks past election posters in Harare, Zimbabwe, 19 July, 2018. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
Q&A / Africa

Tensions Rise Ahead of Zimbabwe’s Elections

On 30 July Zimbabwe will hold elections. For the first time since independence Robert Mugabe is not a candidate. His successor presents himself as a reformer – but many doubt the polls will be clean. The opposition warns that Zimbabweans will not tolerate another stolen election.

What’s so important about the credibility of these polls?

On 30 July 2018 Zimbabweans will go to the polls to elect a president, parliamentarians and local councillors. The elections are an unprecedented opportunity for Zimbabweans to choose who they believe can deliver economic recovery after decades of violent, predatory and authoritarian rule by former President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF). This will be the first vote since a Very Peculiar Coup in November 2017 ousted Mugabe and made way for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a 75-year-old ZANU-PF stalwart. Mnangagwa is contesting the election on pledges of reform and economic recovery. He vows that, in a break from the past, these polls will be free and fair.

His administration recognises that, to forge the new social contract Mnangagwa promises, both voters and in particular Zimbabwe’s international backers must have confidence that the vote was indeed clean. Having come to power on the back of a “military-assisted transition”, Mnangagwa and his advisers know they cannot reform governance and promote economic growth without sustained international re-engagement. Most major donors and investors have signalled that credible elections are an important precondition.

The elections are an unprecedented opportunity for Zimbabweans to choose who they believe can deliver economic recovery after decades of violent, predatory and authoritarian rule.

Earlier this year, analysts opined that ZANU-PF would win comfortably and that the opposition would struggle to prevent the ruling party from securing a two-thirds majority in parliament. Opinion polls now suggest a much tighter race that could threaten the interests of ZANU-PF elites. Those elites will be determined to hold onto power; a run-off, required if no presidential candidate wins more than 50 per cent in the first round, could be particularly fraught.

Tensions have mounted between the main opposition alliance and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), whose independence opposition and civil society leaders increasingly question. The UN has raised concerns about the growing number of reports of voter intimidation and threats of violence, especially in rural areas where two thirds of the electorate reside. The police refused to allow an opposition demonstration against the ZEC on 25 July – an echo of past practices of political restriction that has exacerbated friction. Some have cautioned the opposition against pursuing confrontational tactics, but its leaders increasingly worry that the election will not be free and fair.

Overall, many outside powers are eager to re-engage after years of isolating Zimbabwe, which may lead some to gloss over flaws.

Can the opposition mount a credible campaign?

Mnangagwa’s main challenger is Nelson Chamisa, the 40-year-old candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance, which brings together seven opposition parties. Its policy is not very different from Mnangawa’s, and both claim they are best positioned to deliver economic recovery. The electorate must choose between the largely untested MDC Alliance and a ruling party claiming it has reformed.

Many observers say that conditions for elections have improved. Most obviously, there is greater political space for opposition parties to operate in predominantly rural parts of the country where they were previously barred. The MDC Alliance has held dozens of rallies and other events in these areas over the past two months. But it must dispel entrenched misperceptions of its leaders and policies that the state-run media, the only news source with a nationwide reach, has spread for many years. In addition, the opposition has far less money than ZANU-PF, which, according to civil society groups, benefits from leveraging off state resources.

Almost 5.7 million Zimbabweans are registered to vote [...], more than ever before.

Almost 5.7 million Zimbabweans are registered to vote (out of an estimated 14 million total population), more than ever before. Surveys indicate that 88 per cent of registered voters intend to cast a ballot. This includes more urban voters (who traditionally favour the opposition) than before and an unprecedented number of youth (over 60 per cent of registered voters are 40 or under). The government refused, however, to back the constitutional changes necessary for millions in the diaspora to vote, a longstanding opposition and civil society demand.

In the past, coercion and physical force were integral to Zimbabwe’s “guided” democracy, in which the ruling party under Mugabe curtailed political rights and freedoms. So far, there have been relatively few incidents of overt violence in the lead-up to this year’s polls, but June and July have brought widespread reports of threats and intimidation. As the 20 July Afrobarometer national survey shows, both the legacy of fear and the expectation of future abuse remain strong. Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed say they are still careful about what they say about politics and 43 per cent fear there will be election violence.

Do Zimbabweans trust that the elections will be free and fair?  

The Afrobarometer survey, as well as a study by the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, show that over 40 per cent of the public distrusts the ZEC. The ZEC has a history of partisanship in favour of the ruling party – it still has commissioners and senior staff who endorsed the violent 2008 presidential run-off, which was rejected by African election observers. The opposition have repeatedly complained about the military’s influence in the ZEC. Its chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba, recently acknowledged that 15 per cent of its staff had been Zimbabwe Defence Force members, but were no longer military employees.

The ZEC also could have done more to make the 2018 vote preparations more transparent and inclusive. Instead, it has adopted a narrow legalistic interpretation of its mandate, rebuffing reasonable MDC Alliance and civil society demands that would contribute to enhancing its credibility.

Zimbabweans appear happy with the introduction of a biometric voters’ roll, meant to reduce the incidence of fraud.

Overall, Zimbabweans appear happy with the introduction of a biometric voters’ roll, meant to reduce the incidence of fraud. But the ZEC did not give civil society groups and opposition parties access to the final roll until 25 July, and refused an independent audit, even though donors offered to pay for it. The ZEC claims it is not legally obligated to conduct an audit. This is true, but by passing on an audit the ZEC missed an important opportunity to boost its own credibility and that of voter data – all the more important given unresolved controversies around the 2013 voters’ roll.

Other factors that undermine confidence in the ZEC include the lack of transparency in the printing and design of paper ballots. For example, no explanation was given as to why and how President Mnangagwa has one of the two top positions on the double-column ballot. Concerns about secrecy were fuelled when ZANU-PF inexplicably obtained a database of registered voters’ mobile phone numbers, which it has been using to canvass support. The MDC Alliance, other oppositionists and civil society groups lodged complaints – at the time of writing, these are largely unresolved.

These issues compound growing concerns that the elections will be stolen. As tensions mounted with the ZEC, the MDC Alliance threatened to stop the elections. But on 25 July Chamisa committed to participation, at the same time warning the ruling party and ZEC that they would “face the music if they rig or cheat”. Mnangaagwa and senior ministers are on record stating that they will accept defeat, but there are deep suspicions, fed by leaked intelligence reports, that the security power bloc that brought him to power in November will not. An MDC victory or a run-off may generate the conditions that lead to a repeat of the chaotic and violent 2008 polls.

A pre-election assessment by the Zimbabwe Electoral Support Network, a leading civil society network of 30 civil society organisations, found widespread misuse of government resources by ZANU-PF. This practice is common in Zimbabwe, and rarely receives detailed attention from election observers, in part because it is difficult to measure. For example, the government started distributing farming supplies under a presidential scheme in what appears to be a crude vote-buying exercise. It has also distributed food aid at the same time and place that the opposition had scheduled rallies. ZANU-PF has continued to use school buildings and busses to force student attendance at political rallies, despite a court ruling, which ZANU-PF has appealed, prohibiting the practice. The courts also ruled that traditional leaders who receive government benefits may not publicly support ZANU-PF. Civil society reports suggest that traditional leaders remain a primary source of voter intimidation at the ruling party’s behest. For now, however, these court decisions have also been appealed, so the practices continue. Furthermore, even though the government is heavily in debt, in July it raised civil servants’ pay by 17.5 per cent and increased special allowances for military and police personnel. The ZEC has remained silent on all these issues.

The ZEC’s work is hampered by financial and technical shortfalls. It has refused Western donors’ offers from of funding, because the money was tied to international monitoring of its technical capacities, the development of the voters’ roll and audits of those rolls. The government has not made up the shortfalls. These limitations play out on several fronts, from weak management of voters’ roll development to poor communications and public relations and insufficient transparency. These issues have compounded frustrations and contributed to rising tensions.

Will the vote go to a second round? What would that mean?

According to survey data released on 20 July by Afrobarometer, 40 per cent of Zimbabweans will vote for Mnangagwa and 37 per cent for Chamisa, with 20 per cent undecided or unwilling to disclose their choice. These results, if accurate, would suggest the presidential contest is much closer than many had imagined. If no candidate secures more than 50 per cent of the vote on 30 July, there will be a run-off on 8 September.

The last time this happened, in 2008, ZANU-PF in cahoots with the military used massive coercion and violence to swing the vote for Mugabe. The ZANU-PF government was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of opposition activists and thousands of assaults. The ZEC certified the 2008 vote, but most international observers, including both the African Union (AU) and the regional body, the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), rejected it.

President Mnangagwa recently publicly denied that violence occurred during this period – perhaps understandably, since many of his detractors hold him and other members of the executive directly responsible. Still, tensions will rise significantly if there is a second round and the ruling party’s hold on power appears under threat. ZANU-PF and security elites could be tempted to use violence to influence the outcome. In the event of a run-off, international actors should step up their diplomatic engagement – and the SADC and AU observer teams should extend and expand their presence on the ground – to help deter violence.  

Does the military present a threat to these elections?

Over 40 per cent of Zimbabweans fear the military will intervene in the election, according to Afrobarometer. For many years Zimbabwe Defence Forces leaders have said they would support only a political leader with liberation movement credentials. (Chamisa was born two years before independence.) In November 2017 they waded into ZANU-PF’s factional struggles, forcing Mugabe to step down and allowing Mnangagwa to take over. Since then, senior ZANU-PF politicians have said the military would never accept an MDC victory.

In early July, the Zimbabwe Defence Forces gave a press conference to refute allegations that it engages in partisan political activities across Zimbabwe. The military claimed that it would uphold the constitution. Yet critics point out that it did not do so when it pushed out Mugabe. There are ever more reports, from a range of civil society and political party sources, that soldiers are stationed across the country, with many out of uniform. At the July press conference, the military acknowledged that soldiers are dispersed throughout the country, but claimed they are home on leave or deployed for official duties, such as patrolling borders and in the state-directed Command Agriculture program. It is widely assumed by civil society and opposition parties, however, that they are assisting ZANU-PF. The defence forces label the media and civil society reports as “irresponsible”, though the same allegations originated from senior former members of ZANU-PF close to the top brass.  

What happens if there are disputes or election violence this time around?

The ZEC considers its multi-party liaison committees – established at national, provincial and district levels – as the primary dispute resolution mechanism. But it has not made these committees’ minutes or decisions public. The Zimbabwe Council of Churches recently wrote a public letter to the ZEC that noted the public was losing faith that these committees would settle disagreements rationally and fairly.

In May, the ZEC, in collaboration with two other largely untested and under resourced statutory bodies, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, established a special committee to investigate political violence ahead of the 2018 polls.

In late June, political parties signed a peace pledge designed to strengthen the political code of conduct. The judiciary also has set up fast-track courts to try perpetrators of politically motivated violence. Special prosecutors and magistrates have been appointed to handle such cases.

What role will election observers play?

Election observer missions will play an important role. President Mnangagwa recognised their participation would strengthen the credibility of the election process and has opened Zimbabwe’s doors to a number of observer organisations, several of which were denied access over the last sixteen years. These include missions from the European Union (EU), the Commonwealth, the Carter Center, and the National Democratic and International Republican Institutes, as well as the AU and SADC from closer to home. Yet long-term observation began only in late June (EU) and early July (AU and SADC), which restricts what they can monitor, especially regarding the political environment, and both the AU and SADC teams on the ground are relatively small. The AU, for example, has deployed fourteen long-term observers with a core team of four and will deploy 50 short-term observers for polling and counting. They will remain in Zimbabwe until mid-August, unless there is a run-off. The SADC team has 63 observers deployed nationally. The EU has the biggest mission, deployed across the country, and it will expand to more than 140 persons for the actual balloting. It will remain in country for up to two months after the polls to observe the tabulation of results and dispute resolution. According to the ZEC, there are over 600 foreign observers in total.

It will be difficult to judge objectively whether the polls are free and fair. Observer missions should ensure they factor the playing field and campaign environment into their assessments, and not just base them on voting and counting alone.

With almost 11,000 polling stations, many in remote areas, international missions must rely on reports by political parties and approximately 6,000 accredited domestic observers. Their vigilance and the quality of their reporting, along with polling agents, will be essential for deterring election violations and informing international groups.

As always, but particularly in these elections, it will be difficult to judge objectively whether the polls are free and fair. Observer missions should ensure they factor the playing field and campaign environment into their assessments, and not just base them on voting and counting alone. They also should explain and substantiate their conclusions. Inexplicably, SADC never made its final 2013 Zimbabwe election observation report available. That omission should not be repeated.

While the EU observation missions tend to be more experienced and technically proficient, the AU and SADC evaluations are likely to generate more attention, particularly from regional states likely to give them the greatest credence, as in the past. In 2000 and 2002, the two bodies’ observer missions disagreed about whether the elections were free and fair. Observer missions should try to coordinate their findings to avoid similar confusion, which could compound the challenge of a contested outcome.

These elections could be [Zimbabwe]’s most consequential since independence in 1980. Turnout will be a key factor.

According to many analysts and political players, these elections could be the country’s most consequential since independence in 1980. Turnout will be a key factor. No more than 3.4 million Zimbabweans have voted in any previous poll. Yet notwithstanding all the unresolved concerns, Zimbabweans appear keen to participate this time around. If voters turn out in large numbers, and the outcome is credible, these polls may help lay the foundation for Zimbabwe’s recovery from years of misrule. If, however, the outcome is disputed by either of the main protagonists, violence is likely. Violence will almost certainly dash the prospects of governance reform, international re-engagement and much-needed economic revitalisation, which would help just not Zimbabwe, but all of southern Africa.