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Zimbabwe’s New Deal: The Human Rights Perspective PowerPoint Presentation
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Zimbabwe’s New Deal: The Human Rights Perspective

Zimbabwe’s New Deal: The Human Rights Perspective

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Zimbabwe’s New Deal: The Human Rights Perspective

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  1. Zimbabwe’s New Deal: The Human Rights Perspective An analysis of the new power-sharing accord from the perspective of the current human rights situation in Zimbabwe and its legacy of displacement and the Diaspora

  2. Preface • A paper analysis presented to the public panel discussion at the 9th session of the HRC hosted by the UN Watch and the Global Zimbabwe Forum • Presented by Mr. Daniel Molokele (Human Rights Lawyer)

  3. Introduction • Zimbabweans generally are a peace loving people, violence not common • But the country has long history of state funded political violence • Also has legacy of general amnesties • Reconciliation always takes precedence over justice • Is 2008 going to be a case of history repeating itself?

  4. The Colonial Legacy • British colonial rule officially started 12th September 1890 with the arrival of the Pioneer Column at Kopje, Salisbury. • The defiant Lobengula the Matebele king, overthrown by the colonialists in 1893 • First Chimurenga/Umvukela in 1896 • Seeds sown of a culture of human rights violations and impugnity

  5. Decolonisation • Colonial administration lasted until after the Second World War • After the war, ‘winds of change’ started to blow across the colonial empires • African decolonisation started with the independence of Ghana in 1957 • Harold MacMillan, British PM in a famous speech in Cape town in February 1960

  6. The UDI Legacy • In Rhodesia, nationalism on the rise but suppressed using State security apparatus • Unjust laws such as LOMA passed • Mass detentions and arrests of leaders • Gonakudzingwa, Wha Wha • Displacements and exile • The rise of Ian Smith and white minority declares the Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11th Nov 1965 • Indefinite state of emergency declared

  7. Armed Struggle Years • Human rights violations flared up after the launch of the armed liberation struggle • Zipra and Zanla armed movements • Exile and life in the trenches and camps • Pungwe mobilisations • Mob and instant justice widespread • Political murders and assassinations • Over 40 000 civilians dead

  8. Lancaster House Accord • Historic Lancaster House agreement signed in December 1979 • Ceasefire and demobilisation process • Independence on 18th April 1980 • New leader Robert Mugabe declares amnesty and policy of reconciliation • All human rights violations related to the armed struggled allowed into archives of history

  9. Matebeleland ‘Genocide’ • National unity government collapses in 1982 • Zapu accused of anti-patriotism • Civil war erupts in Matebeleland and Midlands regions between 1982 and 1987 • Dissidents and North Korean trained 5th Brigade army reign of terror • Over 20 000 civilians dead • Many displaced, some go into exile

  10. 1987 Unity Accord • 1985 elections perhaps most violent in post independence Zimbabwe • Zapu defiant, retained its influence • 1986 peace talks start between the parties • 22nd December 1987, Unity Accord signed • Another blanket amnesty declared • Reconciliation and no state prosecutions

  11. Electoral Violence • Attempts to set up one party state after 1987 failed largely due to protests from labour and student movements • Corruption and Willow gate scandal riots • 1990 elections held, contested mainly by Zanu and Zimbabwe Unity Movement • Polls also characterised by violence • Patrick Kombayi case, notorious example

  12. Constitutional Movement • The early 1990s saw the collapse of the Iron Curtain and Berlin Wall and new winds of change blow across Africa • Zimbabwe yet again, left out • Socio-economic decline and ESAP • Rise of labour and civil society led dissent and public protests • 1997, launch of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA)

  13. Constitutional Referendum • Success of constitutional movement led to government setting up the unpopular Constitutional Commission • February 2000, largely peaceful referendum held over draft Constitution • NCA led coalition mobilises successfully for NO! vote against the draft Constitution • Draft Constitution rejected • Outcry as Mugabe opts to abandon constitutional reform process altogether

  14. Farm ‘Invasions’ • Zanu humiliated, takes revenge on ‘white’ commercial farmers, farms ‘invaded’. • Thousands of farm workers mostly of foreign origin displaced • Widespread state sponsored campaign of terror and violence • Parliament and Judiciary too weak to save the situation of impugnity

  15. June 2000 Elections • Parliamentary elections held in June 2000 amid political terror and violence • Many cases of rape, arson and murder, property dispossesions, displacements • Many opt to leave the country from then • New opposition MDC almost wins the polls • Uneasy relations between Zanu and MDC • Widespread polarisation and victimisations

  16. 2002 Presidential Poll • Presidential poll held in 2002 amid increased political violence • Mugabe wins but Tsvangirai insists that polls were rigged, ‘stolen elections’ • State sponsored terror and victimisation of opposition supporters worsens • Civil society, media and judiciary under vicious attack from a rampant executive • Zimbabwe now a nation is perpetual crisis

  17. 2005 Parliamentary Polls • No prosecutions from previous polls • Political terror and violence continues in March 2005 elections • Opposition suffers setback, loses some seats • Continued assault on all voices of dissent especially the media and civil society • Displacements, many leave the country

  18. Crisis in Zimbabwe • Economy continues to decline • Nation faces continued international isolation especially by USA and EU • Civil unrest continues and state sponsored suppression increases • Polarisation now order of the day • Govt very unpopular, military elements increase influence on the State

  19. Rise of the Diaspora • Many lose hope, many leave the country • Crisis of huge brain drain • Rise in cases of asylum seekers and refugees • Neighbouring countries like Botswana and SA pay the price for the displacements • Estimates now say 3-4 million have left the country and are based all over the world

  20. SADC Mediation • Crisis boils over as many opposition and civil society leaders violently detained • March 2007, SADC decides to intervene • Appoints President Thabo Mbeki to be the mediator between Zanu and MDC • First breakthrough hailed in 18th Constitutional amendment • Harmonised elections held in March 2008

  21. Electoral Impasse • Opposition MDC narrowly wins polls • Zanu loses parliamentary majority • Presidential poll results delayed • Delayed results claim no clear winner • Run off poll between Mugabe and Tsvangirai set for 27th June 2008 • Rise of political violence and murders against the opposition in campaign

  22. Electoral Impasse • Tsvangirai pulls out of run-off poll • Mugabe wins uncontested poll • Opposition rejects Mugabe’s legitimacy • SADC and AU intervene • Recommends for Govt of Unity under Mbeki mediation process • Talks continue for weeks • Breakthrough on 22nd July 2008 with signing of negotiation framework agreement

  23. Talks Breakthrough • Secret talks continue in secret • Parties claim breakthrough but talks almost collapse as MDC T refuse to sign • SADC summit reviews process and re-affirms Mbeki mediation in August 2008 • Mbeki reconvenes secret talks between the parties • Breakthrough as accord signed on 15th September 2008 in Harare

  24. Talks Breakthrough • Parties sign accord and pledge unity for the sake of the nation • Let bygones be bygones again! • Accord seeks to protect perpetrators of political violence and impugnity • Tsvangirai endorses Mugabe’s reconciliation theme of 1980 • Another blanket amnesty to ensure?

  25. September 2008 Accord • Relevant aspects include Article 7 that provides for the promotion of equality, national healing, cohesion and unity • Specifically, article 7(e) refers to the need to ‘formulate policies and put measures in place to attract the return and repatriation of all Zimbabweans in the Diaspora and in particular will work towards the return of all skilled personnel.’

  26. September 2008 Accord • Article 10 refers to the need for free political activity • Article 11 refers to the need for rule of law, respect for the Constitution and other laws • Article 12 provides for freedom of assembly and association

  27. September 2008 Accord • Article 13 says ‘state organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties • Article 16 lays out the guiding principles for humanitarian assistance • Article 18 promotes the ‘security of persons and prevention of violence to achieve political ends’.

  28. ?

  29. Diaspora Fears • For the diaspora, its crucial to note that there is a large community of asylum seekers and refugees • What happens now? • Danger of deportations and forced repatriations • Fears host countries may abandon protective or supportive stance

  30. Diaspora Fears • Outstanding threats of arrests and victimisation • Perpetrators may seek to ‘silence’ the returnees back in Zimbabwe • Deal may collapse at any time • Socio-economic crisis continues • Recovery will take many years

  31. Diaspora Hopes • Some already beginning to trickle back home to be part of new process • Many have a wait and see attitude but hope to return later if situation stabilises on • Many hope for adoption of new Constitution that will include key issues such as dual nationality & Diaspora’s voting rights • Many hope next elections will be peaceful and Diaspora will also be able to vote

  32. What of Justice? • Reconciliation theme must not be allowed to overshadow justice again • Nation must this time around face its legacy of a dismal HR record • New Constitution must set up a viable independent human rights commission • There may be a need for a truth and reconciliation commission • Private prosecution another viable option

  33. Conclusion • Clear that nation’s entire modern history has deep legacy of human rights violations • Its about time this cycle of human rights violations be stopped once and for all • Need for a justice and reconciliation movement to make perpetrators to account for their evil deeds • GZF and Diaspora to help mobilise for justice and reconciliation in Zimbabwe