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Mediation for Peace

Mediation for Peace

The post July 2018 election epoch in Zimbabwe witnessed eruption of politically motivated
violent conflict. This was accompanied by further violent clashes between the citizens and
state security agents ignited by dire economic woes of the former. A conflict mapping and
situational analysis of the Zimbabwean crisis done by Global Peace Ambassadors Zimbabwe
(2019) revealed that the country is plagued by a political and socio-economic impasse
manifesting through violence, protests, and social unrest. The causal factors of the
Zimbabwean crisis are complex and intertwined. Hence combating the crisis requires
cautious and non-partisan engagement of the conflict parties (Zimbabwe African National
Union- Patriotic Front-Zanu pf; Movement for Democratic Change Alliance – MDC-A;
minority political groups; civil society organizations; Zimbabwe State security agents; and
the church) in a peaceful mediation for peace dialogue moderated by neutral global peace
actors like the United Nations; and or Global Peace Chain. The mediation dialogue should be
guided by the following 5 tier steps of Conflict Mediation – identification of source of the
Zimbabwean conflict; Side talks with each conflict party; Mapping of interests, position and
needs of conflict parties; Common dialogue; and establishment of a binding legislative

national healing framework, transitional authority, and peace agreement informed by a win-
win outcome for all conflicting parties. This analysis shall employ the afore-mentioned five

conflict mediation steps to proffer a diagnosis, prognosis and prescriptive analysis of the
Zimbabwean crisis
Understanding the Zimbabwean Crisis
Following the heated 2018 elections in Zimbabwe, the country was faced with a governance
crisis and violent conflicts. The crisis was manifest through, gross human rights violations,
arbitrary arrests of human rights activists, looting, violent protests, violent military and police
clampdown on unarmed civilians, rape, torture and a general reign of terror. To date,
Zimbabwe is plagued by a culture of violence, fear of the known and unknown as well as
negative peace. Despite evidence of all the above socio-political ills, the government and
political parties in Zimbabwe never acknowledged, apologized or exert responsibility.
Identifying the Source of the Crisis
The root cause of the Zimbabwean crisis is poor leadership. Reminiscent to the rest of Africa,
Zimbabwe has a leadership crisis. Everything in Zimbabwe rises and falls on leadership. The

current political leadership in Zimbabwe from all political parties lacks the moral fabric,
leadership acumen, empathy with the citizen woes, political will for meaningful dialogue,
sustainable earnest, and ubuntu to usher the country forward. The crisis is embedded in a
leadership that advances competition over cooperation; debate over dialogue; political
mileage over development mileage; and political currency over accountability. Politicians in
Zimbabwe can draw valuable lessons from the nature of politics between Kenyan leaders,
Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Mature leadership grounded in engagement,
consultation, respect, and socio-political accountability can go a long way in mitigation the
Zimbabwean crisis.
Separate Side Dialogue
The next crucial step in the mediation for peace in the Zimbabwean crisis should be engaging
in separate side talks moderated by neutral non-partisan global peace actors. This involves
seating down separately with each conflict party that is Zanu pf, MDC-A, the church, and the
civil society. Separate dialogues with these groups will enable development of an
understanding of the conflict from different political, social, legal and economic perspectives.
Citizens’ concerns must also be factored in at large. This allows the mediators to understand
the positions, needs, interests of the different conflict parties. It is at this stage, that the
mediator also ensures all conflict parties are prepared with regards to behaviour, attitude,
temper and psychology to meet the other conflict parties. A deeper understanding of this,
maps a congenial path for a joint common dialogue.
Joint Common Dialogue
The separate side dialogues should be accompanied by a Joint Common Dialogue. This
dialogue brings all conflict parties together on one platform. This means Zanu pf, MDC-A,
Citizens movements, Civil society and the church, coming together towards mapping
collective action to redress the Zimbabwean crisis. With moderation of the mediator, the
conflict parties should map common interests from the concerns and interests that came up in
the separate dialogues. Mapping of common interests will serve to unify the conflict parties
towards one goal. One such common interest amongst all Zimbabweans, political groups,
churches and public interest groups is the restoration of Zimbabwean economy and pride as
the bread basket for Africa. Such a common interest can be capitalized to unify all the
political groups to harness their energies, ideas, and different expertise to forge a way
forward towards economic transformation, national healing and peace. The success of this

joint dialogue should ultimately lead to the designing of a legally binding national healing
framework, transitional authority and peace agreement that preserves, the outcomes of the
dialogue to ensure all parties are committed.
Framework for national healing, transitional authority and peace agreement
It is not a public secret that Zimbabwe is a deeply divided society. Wounded by the past,
misinformed of the present and terrified of the future. To move from this towards preserving
outcomes of the joint dialogue postulated above, there would be strong need to establish a
framework for national healing. This will facilitate reconciliation, and even compensation of
victims of political violence and unjust economic policies. Peace can not be sustainable and
positive without redressing the past atrocities. It would be the primary prerogative of the
national healing framework to facilitate reconciliation, and restorative justice. This
framework should be coupled with a National Transitional Authority that acts as an interim
government for a fixed term. This will be crucial for unleashing the country from the political
and socio-economic abyss and propelling it towards economic transformation. All this should
then be sealed with a Peace Agreement, that reaffirms, recommits, reinforce and guarantee
that all parties are responsible for working towards a national strategic vision of the
Zimbabwean renaissance.
Conclusion
From the above analysis, it is apparent that whilst the Zimbabwean crisis is complex, it is not
entirely impossible to fix. The crisis is rooted in poor leadership. Hence the antidote to the
crisis is good leadership. Effective leadership will have a trickle-down effect that translate to
political will, meaningful dialogue, commitment to political reforms, national healing, peace,
restorative justice and economic transformation.

Brief Bio
Phillip Nyasha Fungurai is Global Peace Ambassador affiliated with Global Peace Chain
and Global Peace Ambassadors Zimbabwe, a network of peace actors that advocates for
peace across the Globe. Phillip is a DAAD fellow who subscribes to principles of peace,
democracy and social justice. Phillip is also an independent democracy and development
researcher who works with various think tanks and civic groups in Germany, South Africa
and Zimbabwe. He is founder of the African Youth Parliament (AYP), a youth empowerment
and development initiative that seeks to capacitate young people in Africa with the skills-set

to be change agents and development champions. The views in this analysis are entirely the
authors’.

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