n Journal of African Foreign Affairs - Military-assisted transition, constitutional order in Africa and transitional justice in Zimbabwe : towards effective change management

Volume 6 Number 2
  • ISSN : 2056-564X
  • E-ISSN: 2056-5658



The constitutionally intoned military assisted transitions within a State are not unusual, per se. What is unusual is the question: is there a constitutional basis for military assisted transitions in a polity? To answer this, question, this think piece shows that change of a government is a whole ball game though, and it pays dividends for the change-makers in any color to get the blessing of the polity’s constitution. For Africa, unconstitutional changes of governments are consociated with coup d’états, constitutional coups or improper use of the third term for reelection, use of mercenaries, refusal by an incumbent to relinquish power to the opposition and self-declaration by opposition party leaders that they are winners of an unfinished election. All unconstitutional changes to a national government of the day may threaten the constitutional orders in other countries within a sub-region or region serviced by that country. The Military transition that occurred in Zimbabwe in November 2017 has doubtlessly become a landmark event with schools of legal thought proffering divergent views on whether it was constitutional or unconstitutional. Now that political change is there, effective change management is required for Zimbabwe to escape state fragility and emboss the future of realizable transitional justice.

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