Zimbabwe likely to follow Rwanda or Ethiopian model, says local political scientist

By Wallace Mawire

Dr Ibbo Mandaza
Dr Ibbo Mandaza

Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Executive Director
and Zimbabwean political scientist, Dr Ibbo Mandaza has told
participants today at an AMH conservations on the topic taking
Zimbabwe forward-a new Zimbabwe in Harare that the country is likely
to follow the Rwanda or Ethiopian development model in its new
transition process following the recent resignation of President
Robert Mugabe.

Asked by the Pan African Visions (PAV) to elaborate on his
statement, Dr Mandaza said that although these African states have
made tremendous economic progress, they have done so with little
regards for creating democratic spaces within their societies.

“These African countries have indeed put more emphasis on economic
development and have deployed economic strategists but that is not
enough without much democratic space. In Rwanda, Kagame has been
ruthless silencing opponents and you also recall the citizens who were
killed by the Ethiopian government a few years back,” Dr Mandaza said.

His presentation was on nationalism and the road map for a new
Zimbabwe. He said that the nationalist project especially in southern
Africa had run its full course and was now a spent force.
He cited examples of ZANU (PF) in Zimbabwe, SWAPO in Namibia and the
ANC in South Africa.
According to Mandaza, the freedom movements in the southern African
region had failed on the economic agenda transformation.

“The problem with the liberation movements is that they want to stay
in power for ever without creating any meaningful democratic spaces
for citizens,” Mandaza said.

In Zimbabwe, he added that the failure of the state had expresses
itself in the unceremonious end of the Mugabe regime.
Mandaza says that the Zimbabwean state had not been democratic to
facilitate separation of powers. He said this should be reflected by
an independent judiciary, active legislature and a functional
executive with limited powers with interests of citizens at heart.

According to Mandaza, since the adoption of the new constitution in
Zimbabwe in 2013, it has not been fully implemented and is incomplete.
He said that it was imperative for Zimbabwean citizens to insist on
the return to constitutionalism and democratic governance through an
active legislature and vibrant judiciary system.

Mandaza says that is such mechanisms are put in place, they would
quickly transform the country into a functional democratic
developmental state which the citizens have been yearning for, for the
past 37 years.
Ibbo Mandaza is a politician, academic and businessman who is also the
director of a local think-tank Sapes Trust.

SAPES Trust, whose headquarters is in Harare, Zimbabwe, is a regional
(Southern Africa) Non-Governmental Network which was established in
1987 as a project of the African Association of Political Science
(AAPS). The impelling forces behind the formation of SAPES were the
spirit of Pan Africanism, African liberation, particularly in the
1980s, and the intellectual discourses on regional integration in
Southern Africa.

The Trust seeks to nurture social science research, teaching, policy
dialogue, networking and publications in the Southern African region
and beyond, through specific programmes, but with the deliberate
intent to impact on policy and assist in the sustainable development
of the region.

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