Home / Events / Zimbabwe: The Political Situation in the Run-up to the Constitutional Referendum
Zimbabwe: The Political Situation in the Run-up to the Constitutional Referendum
Date: 29 August 2012
Venue: , ISS Conference Room, Block C, Brooklyn Court, 361 Veale Street, New Muckleneuk, Pretoria

In September 2008, the three political parties represented in Zimbabwe`s parliament – the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) led by President Robert Mugabe, and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), namely, the MDC-T led by Morgan Tsvangirai and MDC-N then led by Arthur Mutambara signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The GPA, brokered by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), ended the 2008 election dispute between Tsvangirai and Mugabe, and led to the formation of the transitional inclusive government that assumed office in February 2009. Given Zimbabwe`s well-documented history of election-related violence, the adoption of a new democratic constitution is central to the GPA`s goal of creating an environment conducive to the conduct of a peaceful, free and fair election of a substantive government. Set against a backdrop of the security sector`s partisan involvement in political processes in order to influence the outcome of elections Article XIII of the GPA categorically noted  “state organs and institutions do not belong to any political party and should be impartial in the discharge of their duties.” The GPA also recognises the need for a far-reaching national healing and reconciliation project in Zimbabwe since Zimbabweans have failed to heal and reconcile after major crises. Article VII of the agreement states that the inclusive government “shall give consideration to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of pre- and post-independence political conflicts” and “will strive to create an environment of tolerance and respect among Zimbabweans and ensure that all citizens are treated with dignity and decency irrespective of age, gender, race, ethnicity, place of origin or political affiliation.”

The ISS is hosting a seminar that will unpack the political dynamics in the run-up to the constitutional referendum in the context of the GPA.


  • Dr Gwinyayi, A. Dzinesa, The Tortuous Road to the Constitutional Referendum and Elections
  • Dr. Martin Rupiya, Democratic Security Sector Governance: Prospects and Challenges
  • Mr Webster Zambara, Truth, Justice and Reconciliation: After the violence


Dr David Zounmenou, Acting Programme Manager, Conflict Prevention and Risk Analysis (CPRA), Institute for Security Studies, Pretoria

Please Note: All ISS Events occur under the ISS Rule, which means no attribution without specific permission, unless indicated otherwise.


ISS Conference Room
Block C
Brooklyn Court
361 Veale Street
New Muckleneuk

Ms Maria Maluleke
Fax: (012) 460 0997/8
E-mail: Ms Maria Maluleke
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