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NEPADs Commitment to Democracy and Good Governance

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NEPADs Commitment to Democracy and Good Governance

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    ZIMBABWE REPORT

    CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE COALITION

    JUNE 20, 2002

The CRISIS IN ZIMBABWE COALITION consists of the eight major civil society

    coalitions in Zimbabwe, namely the National Constitutional Assembly, the Zimbabwe

    Election Support Network, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, the Women‘s

    Coalition, Media Institute of Southern Africa - Zimbabwe Chapter, Transparency

    International - Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Students Union, and the Zimbabwe

    Human Rights NGO Forum. These coalitions collectively represent over five hundred

    civil society groups. Two hundred and fifty of these individual organizations are also

    directly affiliated to the Crisis Coalition. The aim of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is

    to amplify the collective voice of civil society in Zimbabwe.

    ZIMBABWE REPORT

    _______________

    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

Foreword by Archbishop Pius A. Ncube ................................................................................4

    Executive summary ..................................................................................................................5 NEPAD‘s Commitment to Democracy and Good Governance ............................................8

    The pledge.............................................................................................................................8

    Steps to achieve objectives ..................................................................................................8

    Democracy and Political Governance Initiative .................................................................8

    Censure of deviation from democratic ideals in other countries .......................................9

    Application of NEPAD standards to Zimbabwe ................................................................9

    Zimbabwe: A Test Case for NEPAD ...................................................................................10

    Introduction.........................................................................................................................10

    Political Violence and Intimidation...................................................................................11

    2000 to 2001 ...................................................................................................................11

    Violence before and during Presidential election ........................................................14

    Violence and intimidation after Presidential election ..................................................16

    Presidential Election...........................................................................................................18

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    Confiscation and Destruction of Identity Cards ...........................................................19

    Interference with Political Campaigning ......................................................................19

    Pre-Election Pressure from Service Chiefs ..................................................................20

    State-controlled Media ...................................................................................................20

    Manipulating Electoral Processes .................................................................................21

    Conclusion ......................................................................................................................26 Independence of the Judiciary ...........................................................................................26

    Intimidation of the Judiciary and Packing of the Supreme Court ...............................26

    The High Court...............................................................................................................28 Magistrates Courts .........................................................................................................28

    Conclusion ......................................................................................................................29 Attacks on Press Freedom..................................................................................................29

    The Land Crisis ..................................................................................................................31 Economic Consequences ...................................................................................................36

    Gross Domestic Product and Incomes ..........................................................................37

    Employment ...................................................................................................................37 Inflation...........................................................................................................................37 Other Macro-economic Figures ....................................................................................37

    Agricultural Production and the Food Crisis ................................................................38

    Conclusion ......................................................................................................................38 Social Consequences ..........................................................................................................38 Conclusion ..............................................................................................................................40 Annexure 1: Extract from NEPAD Document ................................................................41

    Annexure 2: Extract from Election Petition: Mutoko South .........................................46

    Annexure 3: Cases of Violence: MarchMay 2002 .......................................................50

    Annexure 4: Cases of Post-election Torture ....................................................................73

    Annexure 5: Section 158 of the Electoral Act .................................................................95

    Annexure 6: Vote-rigging in the Presidential Election ...................................................96

    Annexure 7: Allocation of Seized Farms ...................................................................... 101

    Annexure 8: Politicisation of Food Programme ........................................................... 123

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    FOREWORD

     Zimbabwe is suffering a very painful time. I commend the organizations that have

    put together this report, which accurately describes life in Zimbabwe at present.

     In the past two years, I have been greatly disheartened to watch the people of

    Zimbabwe suffer hunger, violence, and pain, and ultimately to watch this swell into anger

    as their hopes for peace and basic democratic freedoms have been frustrated.

    I have witnessed these realities. Over the last two years I have seen a steady

    deterioration of respect for human dignity and rights in Zimbabwe. In the past two

    months, I have known of a number of persons who have died of hunger right here in my

    city. We have seen police and militia threaten, intimidate, and sometimes attack unarmed

    civilian protesters. We have spoken out, only to be threatened and attacked ourselves.

    Writing a report such as this one, by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, carries

    great risks. Those risks must be borne by us all if we are to find a more peaceful path

    into the future.

     I pray that readers of this report will do their utmost to assist in stopping the

    unnecessary suffering that has been brought on this fine land. May God move you to act

    quickly and decisively.

    Pius A. Ncube

    Archbishop of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

    June 2002

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    ZIMBABWE REPORT

    _______________

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    Joint responsibility of NEPAD participants for good governance in Africa

    African leaders who participate in the New Partnership for Africa‘s Development (NEPAD) accept that democracy, good governance, human rights and sound economic

    management are essential for sustainable development. They therefore undertake joint

    responsibility for promoting and protecting democracy and human rights in their

    countries and regions.

    NEPAD will succeed only if participating leaders are ready to monitor fellow-participants and ensure the restoration of good governance in any African country that

    has departed from international norms of democracy and state legitimacy.

    Zimbabwe, whose government has departed from most of those norms, is a test case for NEPAD.

    Political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe

    Serious political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe began in early 2000 and has reached unacceptable levels.

    The violence began with invasions of commercial farms and has become widespread, particularly in the rural areas. Since January 2002, 57 people have been killed, 26

    ―disappeared‖ and more than 450 tortured. Thousands have been forced to flee their

    homes areas.

    Ninety per cent of the violence has been perpetrated by ZANU (PF) supporters or State security agents, with encouragement from leading members of the government.

    The Presidential election

    The Presidential election was neither free nor fair, and met none of the standards set by the SADC Parliamentary Forum.

    There were many reasons why the election was vitiated, apart from the prevailing violence. The police prevented the opposition MDC from holding rallies; the heads of

    the security forces made it clear they would not accept the opposition candidate if he won

    the election; the State-controlled media ran a propaganda campaign in favour of Mr

    Mugabe; and the government manipulated the electoral law extensively in Mr Mugabe‘s

    favour. In addition, the voters‘ roll was a shambles and many voters were effectively

    disenfranchised; urban dwellers, most of whom supported the opposition candidate, were

    discouraged from voting through restrictions in the number of polling stations; and the

    number of independent observers allowed to monitor the election was severely limited.

    Finally, there were indications of vote-rigging on a large scale.

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    All this calls into question the legitimacy of the government. Attacks on the judicial independence

    The composition of Zimbabwe‘s Supreme Court, which had come into conflict with

    the government through its championing of human rights, has been changed to favour the

    government. Pressure was placed on judges to resign and the Chief Justice was made to

    retire early. New judges have been appointed, giving the court a pro-government aspect.

    This is reflected in several of its judgments, in particular a judgment that upheld the

    legality of the government‘s land reform programme, which the previous court had held

    to be unconstitutional.

    In the High Court several independent judges have resigned and have been replaced with appointees viewed as sympathetic to the government.

    Attacks on press freedom

    A new law, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, requires journalists to be accredited with a government-appointed commission; foreign journalists

    may be accredited only for short periods.

    The Act also makes it a criminal offence for a journalist to ―falsify or fabricate information‖ or to ―publish falsehoods‖ intentionally or otherwise. At least 11 journalists have been arrested for this crime. The stories which have given rise to their arrest range from one that alleged the Presidential election was rigged to one that purported to

    describe conditions in the police holding cells where the journalist concerned was kept

    during a previous arrest.

    The Act also requires all media organisations to be registered with a government-appointed commission which has power to revoke their registration on relatively trivial

    grounds. This poses an additional threat to the independent press in Zimbabwe.

    The land crisis

    Farm invasions, which began in 2000, have continued and have been accompanied by the compulsory acquisition of commercial farms under an Act of Parliament which

    has been amended to render the acquisition process increasingly unfair and arbitrary. The

    land programme itself has been anarchic and accompanied by considerable violence,

    leading to the unlawful eviction of farmers and their workers. Approximately 95 per cent

    of commercial farms have been seized or are in the process of being seized.

    Many beneficaries of the land programme are not landless peasants but Ministers and other senior government officials and prominent supporters of the ruling party.

    The economic and social consequences

    The violence and anarchy, together with reckless economic policies and widespread corruption, have devastated the Zimbabwean economy. Gross domestic product has

    declined 14 per cent in real terms in four years and is forecast to fall by 12 per cent this year. Unemployment is estimated at up to 60 per cent and inflation is over 100 per cent.

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    Agricultural production has decreased to such an extent that Zimbabwe faces a severe and unprecedented food crisis, with nearly half the population needing emergency

    food aid.

    Destitution is widespread, with over 74 per cent of the population living below the poverty-datum line.

    There has been a serious exodus of skilled people seeking better lives elsewhere. Conclusion

    The violence, lawlessness and repression in Zimbabwe represent a disaster for the whole southern African region. Despite this, neighbouring countries appear reluctant

    even to express open criticisism of the Zimbabwean government.

    They have the means to influence events in Zimbabwe; whether they do so will be an indication of the seriousness of their commitments in NEPAD to good governance,

    democracy and state legitimacy.

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    NEPAD’S COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY AND GOOD

    GOVERNANCE The pledge

    In the New Partnership for Africa‘s Development (NEPAD), African leaders pledge

    to eradicate poverty and to place their countries, both individually and collectively, on a

    path of sustainable growth and development. Essential steps on this path, according to

    the programme, are democracy and state legitimacy, which are defined to include as their

    central elements an accountable government, a culture of human rights and popular

    participation.1 Democracy is spreading across Africa, it is stated, backed by the African

    Union (AU) which has shown a new resolve to censure deviation from the norm; the

    AU‘s efforts are reinforced by voices in civil society, including associations of women,

    2youth and the independent media. Steps to achieve objectives

    To achieve NEPAD‘s objectives, African leaders pledge to take joint responsibility

    for the following:

    ? Promoting and protecting democracy and human rights in their respective

    countries and regions, by developing clear standards of accountability,

    transparency and participatory governance at the national and sub-national levels;

    ? Restoring and maintaining macroeconomic stability;

    ? Building the capacity of the states in Africa to set and enforce the legal

    framework, as well as maintaining law and order;

    ? Promoting the development of infrastructure, the development of agriculture and

    its diversification into agro-industries, and the development of manufacturing to

    serve both domestic and export markets.3

    Democracy and Political Governance Initiative

    4The programme states that African leaders have learnt that peace, security, democracy, good governance, human rights and sound economic management are

    conditions for sustainable development and, to this end, will embark on a Democracy and

    Political Governance initiative. The paragraphs setting out this initiative start by

    reiterating that development is impossible in the absence of true democracy, respect for

    human rights, peace and good governance; they give an undertaking to respect global

    standards of democracy, whose core components include political pluralism, allowing for

1 Paragraphs 71 and 43 of NEPAD. The relevant paragraphs of the NEPAD document are reproduced in

    Annexure 1.

    2 Paragraph 45 of NEPAD.

    3 Paragraph 49 of NEPAD. Notably, this pledge is fundamentally similar to the Harare declaration of 1991.

    4 Paragraph 71 of NEPAD. These same realisations inform the text of the Harare commonwealth

    Declaration of 1991. the fact that State practice has been contrary to both the latter and spirit of the

    Declaration is instructive.

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    the existence of several political parties and workers‘ unions; and fair, open, free and

    democratic elections periodically organised to enable the populace choose their leaders

    5freely. States participating in the programme will undertake a series of commitments towards meeting basic standards of good governance and democratic behaviour while, at 6the same time, giving support to each other. They will dedicate their efforts towards

    creating and strengthening national, sub-regional and continental structures that support 7good governance. Censure of deviation from democratic ideals in other countries

    African leaders participating in NEPAD, therefore, undertake to be jointly responsible for democratic development in Africa; that is to say, they undertake to pursue

    democratic ideals not only in their own countries but in neighbouring countries as well.

    Joint responsibility is indeed essential to the success of NEPAD. The programme accepts

    that democracy and state legitimacy are prerequisites for economic development, and

    experience shows that in Africa they are delicate plants which require careful nurturing.

    If each individual African country is free to develop its own system of government

    without regard to international norms and without the committed participation of its

    neighbours, democracy and state legitimacy are liable to be uprooted at the whim of any

    aspiring tyrant. NEPAD will succeed only if participating African governments are ready

    to censure forthrightly and openly all deviations from internationally-accepted norms of

    democracy in Africa, and are prepared to adopt all possible means to ensure the

    restoration of good governance in any African country that has departed from those

    norms.

    Application of NEPAD standards to Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is a landlocked country which depends for its economic survival on South Africa, the main proponent of NEPAD. As this memorandum will demonstrate, over the

    past two years Zimbabwe‘s government has abandoned most of the accepted norms of

    democracy and good governance. The results have been catastrophic for the people of

    Zimbabwe and the disintegration of the Zimbabwean economy may also have disastrous

    effects upon neighbouring countries as well.

    Zimbabwe is therefore an important test case for NEPAD. The sincerity of African governments‘ commitment to democracy and state legitimacy must be tested against what

    they have done, are doing and are prepared to do in order to ensure the restoration of

    democracy and good governance in Zimbabwe. That is a return to legitimacy.

5 Paragraph 79 of NEPAD. These values are further entrenched in SADC-PF Minimum Norms and

    Standards for Free and Fair Elections, signed in Windhoek, Namibia in August 2000. The fact that they

    were violated with impunity in the March 2002, Zimbabwean Presidential Poll is instructive.

6 Paragraph 82 of NEPAD. These terms are too nebulous to be of any force or effect.

    7 Paragraph 89 of NEPAD. It is unclear how this is intended to work in the event that the majority of

    member states are in violation of the agreed principles. Extra-territorial enforcement of these values within

    Africa is inherently problematic.

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    ZIMBABWE: A TEST CASE FOR NEPAD

    Introduction

    Between 1980 and 2000 Zimbabwe was a relatively peaceful, stable and generally 8tolerant country. Now it is being torn apart by violence which began in March 2000,

    increased in 2001 and continues in 2002.

    At the beginning of 2000 the ruling ZANU (PF) party found its popularity declining

    rapidly due to a deteriorating economic situation which, in turn, was due largely to the

    government‘s reckless economic policies and rampant corruption. As a result it suffered a

    resounding defeat in the constitutional referendum held on 11 and 12 February 2000. The

    constitutional Referendum defeat triggered a spate of violent farm occupations.

    Beginning mid-March 2000 hundreds of commercial farms were invaded by ―war

    veterans‖, i.e. people who were alleged to be veterans of Zimbabwe‘s liberation war but

    who were in fact mostly unemployed youths too young to have played a part in that war.

    These farm invasions were not a spontaneous demonstration by landless people against

    inequitable land distribution in Zimbabwe. There is overwhelming evidence that high-

    ranking ZANU (PF) members were actively involved in implementing them, together

    with intelligence and army personnel, and that they formed part of a political strategy to

    combat the growing influence of the opposition MDC party and to win back rural support

    by using the promise of land resettlement and crude violence.

    Farming operations were disrupted on the invaded farms, land was parcelled out to

    the new ―settlers‖, and farm workers were violently intimidated and subjected to political

    indoctrination. Many farm workers were forcibly evicted from their residences. The

    government encouraged the invasions and refused to enforce numerous eviction orders

    which farmers obtained from the High and Supreme courts of Zimbabwe. The

    Commissioner of Police declined to enforce court judgements claiming that the invasions

    were a political issue, not a legal one, and had to be solved by political means.

    Despite the state sponsored events afore-mentioned, the opposition MDC won 47 per

    cent of the vote in parliamentary elections held in June 2000, securing 57 out of 120

    contested seats. (Parliament‘s total membership is 150, of whom 20 are appointed by the

    President and 10 are traditional leaders.)

    The results of the elections appear to have strengthened the government‘s resolve to

    suppress political dissent by every means possible.

    Later sections of this memorandum will show that:

    ? Political violence, instigated largely by government supporters, has increased

    and is continuing.

    ? Partly as a result of the violence and partly as a result of electoral fraud, the

    Presidential election held in March 2002 was neither free nor fair.

    ? The government has subverted the administration of justice.

8 Save for the genocide in Matebeleland between the years 1980 - 1987 in which the Zimbabwean

    Government caused the death of 20 000 civilians and the disappearance of thousands more.

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