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The Government of National Unity as a Long Lasting Political and Economic Solution in Zimbabwe

Petra C. Chinyere and Joseph Rudigi Rukema


Published: 2020/12/01


This paper addresses the effectiveness of negotiated settlements in solving national disputes, with particular focus on the Government of National Unity (GNU) that operated in Zimbabwe from 2009 to 2013. Some of the experts interviewed for this study noted that the elite agreed to have a unity government in order to serve their self-interest. The Zimbabwe African National Unity Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) party needed help in solving the crisis at hand while the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party wanted to experience running a government, at the same time reaping the benefits that came with it. We can conclude that the GNU in Zimbabwe was an elite settlement, without involvement of the general populace. The elite only meant to serve their own interests and ignored national interest. When its tenure expired in 2013, the situation in the country reverted into crisis mode, particularly the economy. It is therefore this paper’s position that any national settlement should involve the affected masses and all transitional settlements should have politically neutral players at the forefront, not political actors or individuals with political ambitions.

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