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Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens
Standoff in Zimbabwe as Struggle to Succeed Mugabe Deepens
Briefing 103 / Africa

津巴布韦:等待未来

概述

津巴布韦的非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线(ZANU-PF)在2013年7月的选举中获胜,但这并没能给穆加贝总统带来广泛认同的合法性,没能为挽救经济提供基础,也没能使津巴布韦的对外关系正常化。一年后,这个国家面临诸多社会和经济问题,它们是根本性执政失败的产物,而让国家几近瘫痪的执政党内继任危机无疑是雪上加霜。非洲民族联盟-爱国阵线和争取民主变革运动(MDC-T)都卷入了严重的内部权力斗争,无暇应对社会和经济结构受到的侵蚀。津巴布韦是个入不敷出、日益衰颓的国家,它的政治是零和游戏,制度千疮百孔,曾经充满活力的经济也奄奄一息。政治精英阶层需要进行一场深刻的文化变革,并从服务于党派或个人利益转而致力于国家利益。

90岁的穆加贝虽然明显能力日益不济,却没有透露出一丝想要离职的迹象。他党派内的继任之争看上去是副总统穆朱鲁和司法部长姆南加古瓦之间的较量,实际上的情况则要复杂得多。公开的斗争已经激化,以令人不安的恐吓和暴力为典型手段。穆加贝管理这一矛盾的能力已经减弱,而在12月国民议会召开前,又将经受严峻考验。津巴布韦第一夫人格雷斯.穆加贝被提升为非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线妇女联盟的领导人,这使得继任斗争的形势进一步复杂化。

在过去一年里,主要经济部门收缩,政府几乎难以支付工资或者提供基本服务。如果得不到大笔预算援助,政府就无法兑现选举承诺。同中国签订的改善基础设施的协议能稍作缓解,但不能解决燃眉之急。东方和西方国家提供的国际援助将有助于最大限度地提升经济恢复的可能性。但是,由于严重的资金流动困难,政策的前后不一致,腐败和管理失误,可行方案有限。要促进可持续的、包容性的发展,就需要进行有力度的改革。

津巴布韦政府和反对派都无法拿出一个能获得全国支持的计划。非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线提出的“津巴布韦可持续的社会经济转型规划”不过是由平民主义的选举承诺加凭空妄想所构成。本已不堪重负的纳税人又遭政府进一步压榨,结果财政收益有限却引发了民怨。争取民主变革运动和其它反对党则已被排挤到一边。它们的国际声望也一落千丈。各反对派制定共同纲领的可能性很小,为国家前途而展开包容性的全国性对话也不太可能。争取民主变革运动自2007年以来首次提出大规模抗议是切实可行的方案,但根据过去的表现推测,非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线会在必要时再次派出安全部队镇压。

非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线的选举胜利为国内和解和建立国际友好关系创造了机会。在津巴布韦政府探索筹款办法之际,国际金融机构与其有所接触,尽管是试探性的。捐赠国必须在兑现同津巴布韦政府重建关系的承诺同时,支持津巴布韦改善执政和解决民主化的不足,并在两方面取得平衡。由于捐赠国并不确定政府是否决心推进未实施的改革、实施新宪法和推进法制,对其政策充满担忧,而且对政权继任感到焦虑,双方的信任受到了影响。非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线中的一些人现在承认,他们需要改弦更张。穆加贝2014年8月接过南部非洲发展共同体(SADC)主席的职务,并将从2015年初开始担任非洲联盟(AU)的主席。这为他保住自己的一些良好政绩提供了前所未有的平台,但他不太可能会把这当作缓和关系的契机。

 

为避免长期的不确定性和可能出现的危机,非洲民族联盟—爱国阵线应当:

  • 在12月的大会上最终决定穆加贝总统一旦丧失执政能力或不在2018年寻求连任,该由谁来继位;
  • 寻求同国内和国际支持者建立互信与合作,方法是(1)同反对派和公民社会进行包容性的全国对话,讨论政治、社会和经济改革;(2)在诸如本土化、土地改革、法制和反腐败等重要政策领域讲明立场并采取行动;以及 
  • 惩罚恐吓选民、选举造假和从事其它不法行为的党员。

为建立公信力,政治反对派应该:

  • 同公民社会联合建立协商机制,以在各个政治派别中就优先改革事项,尤其是经济和执政问题,谋求共识;以及
  • 本着着眼未来的目的总结2013年选举的不足之处,以期解决2018年选举预计会出现的问题(例如,选民名册,选举法修正案中的问题)。

南部非洲发展共同体和非洲联盟应当:

  • 鼓励津巴布韦解决这两个组织在各自的2013年观察小组报告中指出的同选举有关的担忧。

中国应当:

  • 鼓励津巴布韦政府促进政治包容和政策一致性,以实现经济复苏。

对津巴布韦采取制裁和其它措施的国家(例如欧盟、美国和澳大利亚)应提倡一种连贯立场,该立场:

  • 说明津巴布韦政府需采取哪些措施以加快解除剩下的制裁;
  • 依据经济改革和执政改革的成效,整合再接触和发展援助;
     
  • 采取具体行动巩固独立司法、人权和选举机构等支撑民主的制度,并支持公民社会监督和保护宪法权利的能力。

布鲁塞尔/约翰内斯堡,2014年9月29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.