With the decision by MDC-T to enter the “unity government” has come an immediate call (for example by the AU) for the lifting of “sanctions” and the re-engagement of the international (donor) community with the Zimbabwean government. Now, it is not clear to all that the formal sanctions applied to Zimbabwe consist solely of targeted sanctions against several score individuals (and more recently businesses) and asset freezes, and, although thus of limited impact, they remain a source of pressure upon ZANU PF to restore democratic norms in Zimbabwe.

This paper examines the relevant legal provisions and concludes that the cabinet comprising the "Unity Government" was not legally sworn into office.

This paper considers the relative powers of the Prime Minister (Morgan Tsvangirai) and those of the President (Robert Mugabe) and how the GPA is, and is likely to play out in this regard.

The meeting was convened with a view to obtaining an informed and nuanced view, from the perspective of key stakeholders, of Zimbabwe's Inclusive Government (IG). While various large gatherings of human rights NGO's have met to consider issues relevant to the IG, it was the feeling of the conveners that these meetings have been unwieldy and that opinions expressed at these meetings often have been tempered by the institutional concerns of the various NGOs, and a frank analysis of Zimbabwe's polity has been lacking.

This paper considers the general appointment of persons by the President of Zimbabwe to positions in the new inclusive government and specifically in terms of any Act of Parliament or the Constitution. The issue of these appointments has proved contentious, with the MDC-T claiming that the appointments which have been made (and one which has not) violate the agreements relating to power sharing between the parties. The paper analyses the legal provisions in detail.

One of the fundamental problems of Southern Africa - and Africa generally – is the failure of liberation movements to transform themselves into modern political parties. The legacy of commandist, centralised power is hard to shake off, as is the easy means-end recourse to violent solutions and the use of military and quasi-military force. Zimbabwe is by no means unique here, but the accumulating evidence suggests that Zimbabwe is considerably more sophisticated in the maintenance of struggle strategy and tactics than most African countries to date.

This paper considers the likely turn of events and various possible scenarios given the logjam and lack of progress in implementing reforms one year into Zimbabwe`s Inclusive Government.

ZANU (PF) supporters have on several occasions expressed the wish that President Robert Mugabe die in office. With speculation about Mugabe’s ill health rife, and more plausible than usual, it is interesting to consider the legal position and what ought to happen in terms of the current constitution if Mugabe were to die today. The paper is written considering Zimbabwe's Constitution as at 2009 (the Unity Government Constitution).

On Friday 13 February 2009, at a ceremony at State House attended by various international dignitaries, 35 individuals from ZANU PF, MDC-T and MDC-M were purportedly sworn in as Ministers by the President. On Thursday 19 February 2009, the process was repeated, with a further six individuals taking the oath. The result was that a total of 41 persons took the oath of office as Government Ministers, swearing to abide by the Constitution and laws of Zimbabwe.

At the root of Mugabe’s approach to the law is the notion that rules, including the national constitution, its subsidiary laws, and indeed, the ZANU PF party constitution are not inviolable. With this attitude as the foundation of governance by successive Mugabe-led regimes, the whole edifice of legality and constitutionalism has crumbled.


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