State of Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe: 2020 Report

The 2020 State of Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe Report is now available. The report provides insights into the trajectory of transitional justice in the country. Issues covered include the work of the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission, transitional justice processes as well as transitional justice news from across the globe. Read on for more!


This report focuses on presenting and analysing information regarding the key events that shaped the transitional justice discourse in 2020. The report gives an overview of and insight into official transitional justice initiatives carried out in 2020 by independent commissions and government entities. This report also analyses the efforts made by non-official transitional justice stakeholders such as civil society organisations to further the transitional justice agenda. It also details regional and international developments that shaped the transitional justice sphere in 2020 paying particular attention to those developments that could be instrumental in shaping transitional justice processes in Zimbabwe. Transitional justice issues that emerged in 2020 are also discussed in this report with a specific focus on their importance moving forward and the impact they may have on peace and reconciliation processes in Zimbabwe. Finally, this report makes recommendations for the future that will help to make transitional justice processes in Zimbabwe more effective and ensure lasting peace and reconciliation.

The impact of covid-19 on transitional justice

The outbreak and subsequent spread of COVID-19 have had a debilitating effect on, not only the country’s public health but also the socio-economic and cultural context. In compliance with the World Health Organization (WHO) protocols aimed at combatting the virus, the G07 introduced public health regulations that were intended to contain the spread of COVID-19. These regulations included restricting the free movement of people, social distancing, and the closure of virtually all institutions, the shutting down of vast sectors of the economy, restricted movement of all public transportation, restrictions on social and public gatherings (including places of worship), and the deployment of security forces. The lockdowns ushered in an increase in human rights abuses and members of the public “struggled” to comply with the regulations given their precarious economic situations.


Transitional justice can take a transformative approach where interventions are focused on building the capacities of institutions mandated to prevent the violation of human rights. Changing the values, attitudes, and behaviours within the government, legislative bodies security services, human rights institutions, and civil society is central to effective human rights protection and policing.

Working with the grain

The approach considers the existing as perfect enough to begin some transitional justice activities. This means accepting that there will never be a perfect environment to fight for healing, peace, and reconciliation, hence the need to make preparatory actions and pushing the boundaries for democracy. Nonviolent actions and lobbying and advocacy become essential actions including government institutions and international actors.

Read the full report here (2MB PDF)

Source: NTJWG

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