Need assessment mission


In July 2013, Zimbabwe conducted its first harmonised election after the formation of Government of National Unity (GNU). The elections put an end to the Global Political Agreement that was negotiated after the controversial 2008 elections which have been marked as the most significant and most turbulent in Zimbabwe’s history. After the delay in the announcement of presidential results in the March harmonized elections, a runoff was declared and the rivalry between ZANU PF and MDC T became more fierce leading to the escalation in political violence. The June runoff election was marred by violence, intimidation, abductions and killings and as a result, the MDC-T leader pulled out citing perpetrated violence against his supporters. The ZANU PF leader was declared the winner but the results of the runoff plunged the nation into deeper economic, social and political difficulty.


Against this background, the mission to Zimbabwe was conducted by the SADC-ESN secretariat in November in close collaboration with the Partners. After these events, the leaders of the main political parties negotiated a settlement that culminated into a Global Political Agreement at the intervention of SADC. The then President of the Republic of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki was appointed mediator to break the impasse. Though the economic environment improved, various issues stalled the efficient functioning of the Inclusive Government with both parties accusing the other of not having met its obligations. The 2013 Harmonised Elections were generally peaceful but the credibility and fairness of the polls was highly criticised by domestic and regional observer groups, as most reforms agreed upon in the GPA had not yet been implemented at the time of the election. At the time of writing this report there seems to be a stalemate amongst the main electoral stakeholders. The operating space remains closed with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) still hesitant to accommodate discussions with stakeholders. The main political parties also are still struggling to manage the post-election intra party democracy issues. It is for this reason that the NAM focused only on civil society organisations, whilst meetings with the EMB and political parties will be conducted at such a time that the environment is less tense and conducive for deliberations to take place. Based on the situational analysis of Zimbabwe after the experience of the harmonised elections, the interlocutors met expressed the need to focus on the following, as these areas were identified as the gaps that need to be filled in preparation for the next polls scheduled for 2018: media & elections, civic education, voter registration, electoral dispute resolution.



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Research Activity

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Zimbabwe Documentary


The Action has produced a total of five episodes (the fifth episode's link is at the time of reporting pending finalisation). The episodes where produced with the help of Jarreth Merz and Farai Mugano, a Zimbabwean filmmaker. Two of the episodes document the opinions of the Zimbabwean people before and after the July 31st Presidential elections. One of the episodes documents the SADC-ESN's observations of the elections and the final episode that was filmed is a general report on the elections.


➢ Report On Zimbabwe Elections 2013:

➢ SADC-ESN observes the elections in Zimbabwe 2013:

➢ Voices of the Zimbabwean people – pre election 2013:

➢ Voices of the Zimbabwean people – post election 2013: