Best practice in elections by the Research and Advocacy Unit – May 2023

Since 2000, and to some extent prior to 2000, Zimbabwe has a history of disputed elections which have led to a crisis of legitimacy for the government, ameliorated to a small extent with the Global Political Agreement in 2008 and during the period of the Inclusive Government between 2009 and 2013.

‘Auxiliary Power – A tale of Zimbabwe’s powerful First Ladies’ – video by Violet Gonda, May 2023

Before the coup, Grace Mugabe’s political ambitions were so obvious that the then leader of the War Veterans Association warned her about power aspirations and was relieved of his leadership position soon afterwards. Now the actions of Auxillia Mnangagwa mirror those of her predecessor.

“Without a voters roll, the election is already rigged” – 13 May 2023

Journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, who was arrested for exposing high-level corruption in 2020, warns that the election has already been rigged through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s refusal to release the voters’ roll. President Mnangagwa says that the 2023 general elections will be held in August.

Zimbabwean author wins appeal against her protest conviction 13 May 2023

Novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga has won an appeal against an “inciting violence” conviction she received for staging a silent protest with a friend in the empty streets of Harare during Covid. Her 1988 novel, Nervous Conditions, was the first book to be published in English by a black Zimbabwean woman and earned her the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

Zimbabwean parents concerned about their children’s education as Exemption Permit expires –
10 May 2023

Zimbabweans living in South Africa who fled the political violence and economic hardship in Zimbabwe and who were granted the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit (ZEP), are deeply concerned about their children’s education if they’re forced to return to Zimbabwe where there’s an educational crisis and severe shortage of schools. Estimates indicate that up to 500 000 children will be affected by this devastating decision which will also expose them to trauma and suffering in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s new gold-backed digital currency: All you need to know – 9 May 2023

The launch of Zimbabwe’s gold-backed digital currency comes a year after the country launched gold coins. However, former Finance Minister in the Government of National Unity, Tendai Biti (Citizens Coalition for Change party) says the coins have not stabilised the exchange rate or inflation. “Real inflation now hovers around 400% and the Zim dollar trades at US$1:Z$2,800.”

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