On the 15th of September 2008, ZANU-PF and the two MDC formations signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA), intended to break the deadlock following the March 2008 elections. The agreement is silent on transitional justice, although it does include the provision to “give consideration to the setting up of a mechanism to properly advise on what measures might be necessary and practicable to achieve national healing, cohesion and unity in respect of victims of pre- and post-independence political conflicts”. This resulted in the establishment in February 2009 of an Organ of National Healing, Reconciliation and Integration involving ministers from ZANU-PF and the two MDCs.
There are doubts, however, as to the impact that this Organ will have given its location within the office of the President, its limited budget and the caution with which it approaches its work. Nonetheless, the implementation of the GPA has opened up the space to begin a dialogue on recent and past violence; and to begin to think about what a transitional justice and reconciliation strategy for Zimbabwe might entail.
This Helpdesk research report reviews current literature on transitional justice and reconciliation in relation to Zimbabwe and highlights some of the key debates, challenges and options in these areas. It also profiles the results of recent surveys conducted to assess the concerns, needs and wants of the Zimbabwean population.