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National unity or impunity : examining the impact off the Inclusive Government (IG) on the politics in Zimbabwe post 2005.

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Since the colonial period, Zimbabwe has been a territory characterised by contestation. In the 2000s, Zimbabwe entered a period of severe socio-economic conditions; this period was also marred with several cases of human rights abuses and political violence. This period also saw the emergence of a new opposition party, the Movement of Democratic Change (MDC). In the mid-2000s, South Africa was vested with the task of resolving the political crisis in Zimbabwe by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Former South African President Thabo Mbeki managed to facilitate a Global Political Agreement (GPA), which was signed on 15 September 2008. This led to an Inclusive Government (IG) being formed on 3 February 2009. The IG brought the three main opposition parties in Zimbabwe into a power-sharing government with the Zanu-PF. This dissertation explores the role played by South Africa in brokering a power-sharing deal in Zimbabwe, it also assesses whether “power-sharing” is an effective peace-building model. At the core of this dissertation is an assessment of the impact of the IG on the politics in Zimbabwe. Three themes are used to assess the politics, namely socio-economics in Zimbabwe, the rule of law in Zimbabwe and the perceived legitimacy of the government. The dissertation uses content analysis as the research method to analyse three newspapers, a South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian and two Zimbabwean newspapers, the Sunday Mail and the Standard Newspaper. The period of analysis will be from 2005 to 2011. The dissertation offers a substantive analysis of the reporting of the three newspapers. The findings of this dissertation reveal that the socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe has improved since the implementation of the IG but is still in a dire situation. It also reveals that, despite the decrease in reports of human rights abuses and the cases of political violence, Zimbabwe is still devoid of the rule of law. It reveals that the legitimacy of the government is in Zimbabwe has slight improved since the implementation of the IG. The dissertation offers recommendations to the political crisis in Zimbabwe from the discipline of conflict transformation scholarship.


M.Soc.Sc. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2013.


Political parties--Zimbabwe--20th century., Political science--Zimbabwe--20th century., Zimbabwe--Social conditions--20th century., Zimbabwe--Economic conditions--20th century., Theses--Political science.