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The three barriers restricting Mnangagwa

Publish date: 08 January 2018
Issue Number: 756
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s new President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been cautiously welcomed with the hope that he will place Zimbabwe on a more democratic trajectory. However, in a Mail & Guardian Online report, James Hammill notes that this is wishful thinking. ‘There are three major barriers to a decisive break from the corrupt and dysfunctional political system that has been playing out in Zimbabwe: the ruling Zanu-PF, its president and what’s been their main sustainer – the military. None would want to oversee real change because facilitating democratic rule with real contestation for power would mean running the risk of electoral defeat. This would endanger the networks of self enrichment that have been put in place over decades.’ Hammill believes the next few months will see Zanu-PF, Mnangagwa and the military continue to block democracy as they seek to hold onto the power. ‘Zanu-PF presents a formidable obstacle to democratic progress in the country. Zimbabwe has maintained the outward appearance of a multiparty democracy since independence in 1980. But it’s effectively been a one-party dictatorship.’

Full analysis on the Mail & Guardian site