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Has a year of power sharing been a success in Zimbabwe?

Posted on Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:47

“The GNU is the only show in town”

Knox Chitiyo
Head of the Africa programme at RUSI, UK

Despite the massive political differences still going on, the Government of National Unity (GNU) is still there, managing to implement some very progressive policy. Both sides realise that the GNU is the only show in town. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) cannot withdraw, as they have started to get respect from the region – which is what they want ahead of elections.

The economy is turning around. There is food in the shops, there is dollarisation and there is a more or less credible budget – these are positive things.

Is this the calm before the storm? That’s the million dollar question. People don’t know how the GNU is going to end, but free and fair elections will be the litmus test for whether Zimbabwe can go beyond stabilisation and get through to proper reconstruction.

“It has been a success for ZANU-PF leaders”

Elinor Sisulu?
Author and human rights activist, South Africa?

It depends from whose point of view you are asking if it’s a success. From a Zimbabwe-African National Union-Patriotic Front point of view, I would say it has been very successful, about seven out of 10. From the point of view of an MDC politician who is in government, whether they feel they’ve still got the ability to turn things around, I think they might say between five or six out of 10.

But from the point of view of ordinary people, I would say about three or four out of 10 – especially for people in the diaspora who have no prospect of going back.From the point of view of women who have been raped, whose property has been taken away, whose houses have been burnt, yes, they would say it’s a failure.

They have not in any way had the crimes against them acknowledged. They have seen the perpetrators going free.