Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987). In April 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President Mugabe in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. MDC opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of Tsvangirai from the ballot. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which Mugabe remained president and Tsvangirai became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009. Mugabe was reelected president in June 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned.

U.S. Policy Today for Africa Tomorrow

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 14:00
Tue, 07/22/2014 - 15:30
Subtitle: 
A Conversation with Ambassadors Carson, Lyman and Moose

On July 22, Ambassadors Carson, Lyman, and Moose discussed U.S.-Africa Engagement at USIP. 

Home to burgeoning economies and brutal civil conflicts – sometimes coexisting in the same country – Africa is increasingly prominent in the foreign policy agendas of world powers. In early August, President Obama will convene most of the heads of state of the 54 nations of Africa in Washington, D.C. for the first-ever summit between U.S. and African leaders. There will be no shortage of issues to discuss, from how to harness Africa's economic growth and lift large sections of its population out of poverty, to growing trade between the U.S.

Type of Event or Course: 

U.S. Africa Summit Leaders Face Weighty Agenda for Continent

President Barack Obama and African leaders attending the first U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington next month face an array of factors undermining the democratic development and economic growth achieved on the continent in recent decades, according to three former high-level U.S. officials on Africa who spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace this week.

Viola Gienger

Ambassadors Johnnie Carson, Princeton Lyman and George Moose, all of whom now are affiliated with USIP, outlined the priorities that will need to be addressed at the Aug. 4-6 Summit and beyond to achieve the improved security, governance and trade and investment that Africa needs. Leaders of most of Africa’s 54 nations will meet as a group not only with Obama but also with Cabinet members and chief executive officers of major American companies that are potential investors and trading partners.

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 13:10
Type of Article: 
Partners (HTML): 

Zimbabwe’s—and Mtetwa’s—Troubles Grow as Next Mugabe Term Begins

He has held power in Zimbabwe for a third of a century, and today Robert Mugabe was re-inaugurated as president of the southern African nation—the result of a recent election that was free of violence but marred by widespread voting irregularities.

Thomas Omestad

The continuation of a regime described by human rights organizations and other governments as repressive and lacking effective restraints on state power was a dispiriting blow to advocates of greater freedom and democracy in the impoverished country. They include Beatrice Mtetwa, a human rights lawyer featured in a USIP-funded documentary about her efforts to defend clients against politically motivated charges.

Thu, 08/22/2013 - 14:38
Type of Article: 
Countries: 
Issue Areas: 
Partners (HTML): 

At USIP, Zimbabwe’s Beatrice Mtetwa Describes Repression, Legal Challenges

Zimbabwean human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, who has defended peace activists, journalists, opposition candidates, farmers and ordinary citizens arrested and prosecuted by the government of Robert Mugabe, appeared at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) on April 25, discussing her ongoing efforts to use the country’s laws and court system to defend clients against politically-motivated charges that seem aimed at deterring opponents to Mugabe’s three decades of rule.

Mtetwa spoke on a panel after the screening of a new USIP-funded documentary film, “Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law.”

In the film, produced and directed by independent filmmaker Lorie Conway and shot in Zimbabwe last year, Mtetwa describes her determination to harness the law to defend victims of political repression: “I will keep trying, and I’m not going to stop….This has to be done. Somebody’s got to do it.”

USIP Staff
Fri, 04/26/2013 - 11:21
Type of Article: 
Countries: 
Issue Areas: 

Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe

Thu, 04/25/2013 - 16:00
Thu, 04/25/2013 - 17:30

Following last month's referendum on Zimbabwe's draft constitution and with elections expected later this year, USIP is proud to host a film screening of "Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law."

Experts: 

Following the March 2013 referendum on Zimbabwe's draft constitution and with elections expected later in 2013, USIP was proud to host a film screening of "Beatrice Mtetwa and the Rule of Law."  This film, which was funded by USIP, depicts the work of Beatrice Mtetwa, a courageous human rights lawyer in Zimbabwe, who has defended peace activists, journalists, opposition candidates, farmers, and ordinary citizens jailed by the Mugabe government.

Type of Event or Course: 
Issue Areas: 
Countries: 

Voting in Fear

In Voting in Fear, nine contributors offer pioneering work on the scope and nature of electoral violence in Africa; investigate the forms electoral violence takes; and analyze the factors that precipitate, reduce, and prevent violence. The book breaks new ground with findings from the only known dataset of electoral violence in sub-Saharan Africa, spanning 1990 to 2008. Specific case studies of electoral violence in countries such as Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria provide the context to further understanding the circumstances under which electoral violence takes place, recedes, or recurs.

"This comprehensive volume introduces state-of-the-art data that help focus debate and research on electoral violence in conflict. Featuring excellent case studies by prominent scholars, Voting in Fear is an accessible, well-researched book that offers thoughtful and realistic policy recommendations."

Terrence Lyons, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

Dorina A. Bekoe, editor
Wed, 11/14/2012 - 10:11
Type of Article: 

USIP Press Releases Voting in Fear

Eighteen African countries held presidential, primary, or legislative elections in 2011. Eleven of these experienced violence that ranged from low-level intimidation and harassment to violent displacement and death. In “Voting in Fear: Electoral Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa,” a new volume published by the United States Institute of Peace, editor Dorina Bekoe and nine contributors address the causes of electoral violence and strategies for preventing it.
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 13:57
Type of Article: 

Health in Post-Conflict and Fragile States

Civilian health, health care workers, and health facilities disproportionately suffer in countries experiencing severe instability, but global health donors have yet to make developing health systems in such states a priority. Doing so could both make populations healthier and contribute to state legitimacy.

Rohini Jonnalagadda Haar and Leonard S. Rubenstein

Summary

  • The populations of states experiencing severe instability or unable to meet the basic functions of governance—referred to as fragile states—as well as those embroiled in conflict make up one-sixth of the world’s population and suffer from far poorer health than their counterparts in other states at comparable stages of development.
Wed, 01/25/2012 - 11:59
Type of Article: 

The Diversity of Truth Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry

Over the past several decades, dozens of countries have established truth commissions and other bodies to investigate mass atrocities or systematic human rights abuse. Lessons learned from past truth-finding processes are invaluable to help address the legacies of human rights violations in countries transitioning to democratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere.

Summary

  • Over the past several decades, dozens of countries have established truth commissions and other bodies to investigate mass atrocities or systematic human rights abuse. Lessons learned from past truth-finding processes are invaluable to help address the legacies of human rights violations in countries transitioning to democratic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere.
Evelyne Schmid
Wed, 01/11/2012 - 17:04
Type of Article: 

Articles & Analysis

July 23, 2014

President Barack Obama and African leaders attending the first U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington next month face an array of factors undermining the democratic development and economic growth achieved on the continent in recent decades, according to three former high-level U.S. officials on Africa who spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace this week.

Our Work in the Field

Academy Trainer Ted Feifer led a program on conflict resolution skills for visiting African conflict managers and peace-builders on behalf of the State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program in Washington, June 11, 2008.

Learn More

Publications

By:
Viola Gienger
President Barack Obama and African leaders attending the first U.S.-Africa Summit in Washington next month face an array of factors undermining the democratic development and economic growth achieved...
By:
Thomas Omestad
He has held power in Zimbabwe for a third of a century, and today Robert Mugabe was re-inaugurated as president of the southern African nation—the result of a recent election that was free of...