Country meeting: A new era? Understanding Zimbabwe’s transition

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Following the historical developments in November 2017, Mugabe’s 37 year long rule in Zimbabwe ended with his resignation.

Since his installation as Mugabe’s successor, President Mnangagwa has raised hopes for the ‘new Zimbabwe’ by advocating for policy reforms that should address Zimbabwe’s economic crisis, gaining domestic and international support. At the same time, the extent to which Mnangagwa and Zanu PF are willing to implement democratic reforms is questioned, especially in light of the upcoming elections.

To better understand the current transition, leading Zimbabwean political scientist Eldred Masunungure will outline the recent developments, provide an assessment of the changes, and consider the outlook for the elections later this year.

An expert panel will then further discuss post-Mugabe Zimbabwe and the prospects for economic and democratic reforms and the possible role of the Netherlands and the EU.

Prof. Eldred Masunungure is one of Zimbabwe’s leading political scientists working at the University of Zimbabwe. He is also the director of the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI)

Judith Sargentini is a Member of the European Parliament on behalf of GroenLinks

Emma Beelaerts van Blokland is the Zimbabwe desk officer at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Hugo Knoppert is the coordinator of the Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN), a network of over 25 European NGOs working in Zimbabwe

15:00 Doors open
15:20 Word of welcome by Prof. Jan-Bart Gewald, Director of the African Studies Centre Leiden
15:30 Key note lecture by Prof. Eldred Masunungure: “Zimbabwe Post-Military Intervention: Rupture or Continuity?”
16:00 Introductions by panel members
16:15 Panel discussion, moderated by Shaun Matsheza
16:45 Q&A session with the public
17:15 Drinks

“Zimbabwe Post-Military Intervention: Rupture or Continuity?”
After 37 years in power, the last three mired in profound succession-driven factionalism, 93-year old Robert Gabriel Mugabe was compelled to resign as Zimbabwe’s president after a military intervention in mid-November 2017. He was replaced by his long-time political lieutenant, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa who has been leading a party-military regime that is seemingly shepherding the country in a new trajectory. Does the “new dispensation” signal rupture with the past or it’s more of continuity and a mere change of guards? Can Zimbabweans be more sanguine about their future especially with elections looming in mid-2018 in which neither Mugabe nor his long-time political nemesis, the late Morgan Tsvangirai, will be contesting? In short, has anything changed in Zimbabwe? The main proposition of this presentation is that the country has turned the corner from its chronic syndrome of crises but that the positive changes are more likely to be felt in the economic than political domains.



Date, time and location

01 March 2018
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Room 1A20