On 15 November 2017, an exhilarating breeze swept across Zimbabwe as an unusual coalition coalescing protesters, civic organisations, the military and politicians across the political divide crisscrossed the capital celebrating what has come to be known as a ‘military assisted transition.’
The Zimbabwe Democracy Institute has postulated that the military is the decisive power-bloc determining the outcomes of transition politics in Zimbabwe. Given the military assistance in the overthrow of former president Robert Mugabe, a relook into the role of the military in political transition became necessary. ZDI, therefore, conducted this study to interrogate the role of the military in transition politics in this post-Mugabe political order given its ubiquitous role in the past. This was done through a survey of public perceptions on the subject, analysis of public actions, inactions and positions of the military in issues of transition. Understanding the role of the military as a central lynchpin in transition politics in Zimbabwe goes a long way in informing citizen agency and democratic consolidation efforts in the country.
The study found that militarisation has worsened in the post-Mugabe era. Citizens have been made to fear the military and have thus been deterred from exercising their constitutionally given rights. The study revealed involvement of the military in electoral processes, the media, and in the clampdown of protest and dissent.
Read the full report here (955KB PDF)
Source: Zimbabwe Democracy Institute (ZDI)