MEDIA STATEMENT ON THE UNITED STATES PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris deliver remarks in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 7, 2020, after being declared the winners of the presidential election. PHOTO Andrew Harnik /POOL/AFP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

09/11/2020

This month’s presidential election in the United States has highlighted the vexing and universal conundrum of how to govern in the presence of deep disagreements in society.

This governance challenge stems from sharp cleavages in society, that, while in historical terms are not new, remain real and entrenched.

The mandate president-elect Joe Biden has received after the greatest voter turnout in 120 years in the United States must be seen by him as a mandate to govern through co-operation with various constituencies, and as a way of addressing fundamental injustices through a transformative agenda.

It is a strong endorsement to govern by consensus rather than to dominate through centralised, authoritarian practices. This would be in stark contrast to his predecessor’s autocratic approach which failed to resolve grievances but instead exploited them through populist rhetoric.

In the midst substantive criticism about fragility in the US governance system, GGA would argue that this electoral outcome and the strength of institutions of governance, presents us with a converse argument: that the United States’ democratic parameters are indeed robust, and that its electoral system is characterised by strong institutions and processes that act as checks and balances against the vagaries of populist and autocratic administrations.

The country’s founders built this protection into the constitution precisely to safeguard the American people against autocracy and tyranny.

The key takeout for Africa is that it is by governing with an interest in addressing legitimate grievances that true consensus is formed, which leads to greater peace and prosperity amongst the people and those who would govern.

 

Chris Maroleng Executive Director GGA SADC Africa
For further comment please contact:
Chris Maroleng: + 27 (0)73 274 6501/ chrism@gga.org

Gukurahundi’s grim exhumation process

Actors play two red beret soldiers celebrating the burning of a young child they snatched from her mother on May 30, 2018, in Harare, in a scene from a play “1983 the Dark Years”, which portrays the life of a young girl affected by the Gukurahundi events in the 1980s. PHOTO JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP

In January 1983, Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF quashed what it called dissidence by supporters of its political rival, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).

In an operation known by a Shona term Gukurahundi (the spring rain that washes away the chaff), the Zimbabwean military, in particular the Fifth Brigade, murdered up to 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands.

The Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace reported widespread atrocities including as torture and extrajudicial executions.

The Habakkuk Trust has commissioned a series of videos to highlight the disproportionate impact of Gukurahundi on women in Matabeleland and Midlands.

This is the third in a series of three videos and focuses on the exhumations of the bodies of the victims.

Below is a fuller documentary on Gukurahundi.

Remembering Gukurahundi’s missing

People gather at the Joshua Nkomo statue ahead of Unity Day commemorations on December 22, 2017 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to commemorate the killing that happened in Matebeleland in the early 1980s. PHOTO ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP

In January 1983, Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF quashed what it called dissidence by supporters of its political rvial, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).

In an operation known by a Shona term ‘Gukurahundi’ (the spring rain that washes away the chaff), the Zimbabwean military, in particular the Fifth Brigade, murdered up to 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands.

The Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace reported widespread atrocities including as torture and extrajudicial executions.

The Habakkuk Trust has commissioned a series of videos to highlight the disproportionate impact of Gukurahundi on women in Matabeleland and Midlands.

This is the second in a series of three videos we will be featuring.

This film focuses on the number of people abducted and killed during Gukurahundi and the culture of abductions in the Zimbabwean landscape. The documentary film shows us these missing persons, their families and their constant search for answers and closure.

Below the video is a PDF on on a report on Gukurahundi compiled by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe.

BREAKING THE SILENCE

 

Reliving the horror of Gukurahundi

The Matabeleland Massacre has been the worst blot on an atrocious human rights record in Zimbabwe

People gather at the Joshua Nkomo statue ahead of Unity Day commemorations on December 22, 2017 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to commemorate the killings in Matebeleland in the early 1980s. – Troops from the notorious Fifth Brigade, trained by North Korean advisers, committed mass atrocities during the crackdown on a supposed rebellion in the western province of Matabeleland. ZAPU supporters, and many other villagers, women and children, were rounded up, tortured and killed. PHOTO ZINYANGE AUNTONY/AFP

In January 1983, Zimbabwe’s ruling ZANU-PF quashed what it called dissidence by supporters of its political rival, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU).

In an operation known by a Shona term Gukurahundi (the spring rain that washes away the chaff), the Zimbabwean military, in particular the Fifth Brigade, murdered up to 20,000 civilians in Matabeleland and Midlands.

The Catholic Commission on Justice and Peace reported widespread atrocities including as torture and extrajudicial executions.

The Habakkuk Trust has commissioned a series of videos to highlight the disproportionate impact of Gukurahundi on women in Matabeleland and Midlands.

This is the first in a series of three videos we will be featuring.

Below the video is a PDF on impunity and cycles of violence in Zimbabwe by Human Rights Watch.

 

 

HRW ZIMBABWE

Democratic space narrowing in Zimbabwe

Good Governance Africa Executive Director interviewed on South African satellite channel Newzroom Afrika on the situation in Zimbabwe (13 August 2020)

GGA SADC Executive Director Chris Maroleng says there is no doubt that the situation in ZImbabwe has taken a terrible turn for the worse. The democratic space has narrowed significantly and room to manoeuvre for civil society has become less and less.

Watch the interview in the video below.