National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: Challenges and Opportunities

Pamela Machakanja
Pages: 22
Dimensions: 297 x 210 mm
Date of publication: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-920219-21-5



The purpose of this paper is to critically examine issues concerning transitional justice in Zimbabwe after a decade of politically motivated intra-conflicts. The Zimbabwean case highlights the importance of critically examining the relevance of instituting transitional justice systems with a view to making informed choices about achieving a balance between comprehensive processes of restorative justice and retributive justice systems. The paper argues that whatever form of transitional justice is chosen, there is need for a clear and credible account of the past involving acknowledgement for past violations as a process of facilitating individual and national healing and reconciliation. The paper further argues that it is only after truth-seeking initiatives have taken place, that willingness to seek justice based on people's understandings of what happened to them can be achieved. Thus, it is important that the state takes concrete policy actions to demonstrate a break with the past and build a future based on respect for human rights and rule of law.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Mapping of political violence in Zimbabwe
  • Perceptions about the political crisis
  • The Global Political Agreement: Interrogating Article VII: Promotion of Equality, National Healing, Cohesion and Unity
  • Justification for Transitional Justice in Zimbabwe
  • Agenda for the reconciliation and national healing process in Zimbabwe
  • Government of National Unity (GNU) Initiative on National Healing and Reconciliation
  • The Multi-layered nature of Trauma
  • The Story of Reconciliation in Zimbabwe
  • Envisioning a Framework for the Reconciliation and National Healing Agenda in Zimbabwe
  • Necessary conditions for successful reconciliation and national healing
  • Conclusion
  • Bibliography