n Conflict Trends - Zimbabwe's illusive national healing and reconciliation processes : from independence to the inclusive government 1980 - 2009

Volume 2010 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Many Zimbabweans considered the formation, in February 2008, of the Organ on National Healing, reconciliation and Integration by the Inclusive Government - formed by elements of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - to be a watershed opportunity for stemming the nation's historically entrenched culture of state-sanctioned violence and impunity. Zimbabwe had never before comprehensively attempted to prosecute or compel perpetrators of politically motivated violence to acknowledge their transgressions, because the national leadership regularly exploited constitutional prerogatives to pardon perpetrators. Political expedience has always outweighed the imperatives of victim-sensitive national healing after all the major political crises of the post-independence years. These included the liberation war of the 1970s, the Gukurahundi inferno of the 1980s, recurring election-related violence in the post-colonial era, the land reclamation exercise, and anti-MDC violence after 2000.

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