Rebuilding After Mugabe
International Policy Network, London
The speakers and the expert comments from a packed floor made clear that there are enormous problems even in defining the internal opposition (whether MDC or inside Zanu-PF) or agreeing on what external pressures would be most effective. Zimbabweans are in no position to sort out their own problems (a favourite refrain in South Africa’s establishment) and need a lot of external pressure now and a lot of help in the future.
Everyone knows about the daily horror in Zimbabwe but all things end and now is the time to prepare for reconstruction after Mugabe. With African leaders’ hero-worship of him out of the way, there will be a lot of goodwill and there is a lot human capital - but there will be huge obstacles in a ruined country whose daily life, society, economy and polity have been so poisoned for so long.
With neighbours like Botswana and South Africa, there are at least examples of economic freedoms close to hand but there will also be the siren-calls of the aid industry ready to take Zimbabwe down the path of sustained under-development and cronyism.
- Judith Todd, Through The Darkness: A Life In Zimbabwe (Zebra Press, 2007).
- Geoffrey Nyarota, Against The Grain - Memoirs Of A Zimbabwean Newsman(Struik, 2006).
- The Day After Mugabe (see this link to get a copy) by Gugulethu Moyo (International Bar Association) & Mark Ashurst (Africa Research Institute).
- Judith Todd mentioned the work of the Zimbabwe Institute.
- South Africa’s Law Review Project, an IPN partner, has studied the factors that cause rapid growth and the factors that prevent it, using the evidence of experience: Habits Of Highly Effective Countries demonstrates how any country can emulate that behaviour and how the effects appear within two to five years, not decades.
- IPN’s short study Aid and Development: will it work this time?, by Fredrik Erixon, shows why aid has been inversely proportional to development, after more than US$500 billion in aid to Africa: it has crowded out private sector investments, undermined democracy and enabled despots to continue with oppressive policies - all perpetuating poverty.
- Moeletsi Mbeki, businessman, engineer, early member of the ANC and brother of Thabo, outlines concisely the cronyism of sub-Saharan Africa’s ruling cliques and explains how the vast peasantry could become the drivers of entreprise in IPN’s Perpetuating Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa - How African Political Elites Undermine Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.
- The Commonwealth: punching below weight, by Michael Holman. The Commonwealth's evasion of the plight of Zimbabwe at its Kampala meeting in November 2007 reflects a failure to live up to its own principles.
- Silent signs of change, by David Coltart MP, Shadow Minister for Justice, MDC International Herald Tribune, July 2007. Are the riot police becoming afraid or reluctant to do their job?
- Kenya: Lessons from Zimbabwe, also by David Coltart, January 2008. Why belief in and adherence to the rule of law is the only way to impose it where there is none.