Elections yet again

There is an inevitable sense of trepidation when elections start to loom in Zimbabwe, especially since 2000. All too often it feels that we merely repeat the same cycle without any evidence of learning from the mistakes of the past. It is for this reason that it is very important to carefully examine the past, and, to this end, RAU would like to emphasize some of its own findings from past elections, particularly 2008.

2008 is important because there were two elections in very quick succession. The first, in March 2008, was very peaceful and well-administered up to the point of the count, when things went very wrong. The second was hardly peaceful and probably the most violent election ever in Zimbabwe, though many have forgotten just how violent the 2002 Presidential election was.

Below are links to a selection or reports that RAU feels are useful guides to thinking about 2013. Other reports can be found on the RAU website which is: www.researchandadvocacyunit.org

An edited selection of the more important reports was produced by Derek Matyszak for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, and this can be found by following the link immediately below:

Matyszak, D.A (2010), Law, Politics, and Zimbabwe’s ‘Unity’ Government, KONRAD ADENAUER STIFTUNG in association with the Research and Advocacy Unit [RAU].


In addition to this compendium are a number of other useful reports, some talking about the violence, others dealing with the electoral irregularities, and others dealing with the setting up the GPA:

Kwinjeh. G (2008), Staring a gift horse in the mouth. Death Spiral in Zimbabwe: Mediation, Violence and the GNU. 18 June 2008.


Pigou, P (2008), Defining Violation: Political Violence or Crimes Against Humanity. June 2008. SITO: IDASA.


Matyszak, D. (2008), How to lose an election and stay in power. June 2008. RESEARCH & ADVOCACY UNIT.


Matyszak. D. (2008), Opinion on the legality of the presidential election which took place in Zimbabwe on June 27th 2009, and the legitimacy of any incumbent assuming office on the basis of the result of such an election. SITO: IDASA.


RAU (2009), Hear no Evil, See no evil, Speak no evil: A critique of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission report on the 2008 General Elections. Report produced by Derek Matyszak (Senior Researcher). July 2009. HARARE: RESEARCH & ADVOCACY UNIT.


RAU (2009), 2013 Vision – Seeing Double and the Dead. A preliminary Audit of Zimbabwe’s Voters’ Roll. Derek Matyszak. September 2009. HARARE: RESEARCH & ADVOCACY UNIT.




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