SADC’s Zimbabwe Mediation in 2008 as Preservation of ZANU PF Power




SADC mediation; ZANU PF; MDC; Authoritarianism; GNU, regime preservation


The historic defeat of the Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) in the March 2008 harmonised elections was followed by the unleashing of a violent campaign against the opposition in the run up to the June 27 2008 presidential run-off. This triggered the mediation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC). Although the mediation culminated into a Government of National Unity (GNU) comprising ZANU PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations between 2009 and 2013, this paper argues SADC was largely complicit in the advancement of ZANU PF authoritarian consolidation. ZANU PF deployment of foreign policy within SADC was mainly designed to secure the region's solidarity whilst advancing domestic interests aimed at cementing political survival. The region became a crucial focus of attention by the government, but how this was used to consolidate ZANU PF's hold on power is yet to be unpacked in full.

Author Biography

  • Alex Rusero

    Alexander Rusero is a Lecturer of International Relations, Politics and Journalism. He has taught in several institutions in Zimbabwe including Harare Polytechnic, Zimbabwe Open University, Great Zimbabwe University and Africa University. Rusero is author to 10 academic text books and several peer reviewed book chapters and journal papers related to media, democracy and human rights, international relations and foreign policy, regional integration and emerging discoursers of Africa – Asia relations as well as pan-Africanism and Decoloniality. He was the Lead Researcher on International Relations for the first-ever Africa Fact Book Project that was commissioned by the African Union, where he was in charge of profiling the international and diplomatic relations of the 55 African States from the pre-colonial to the post-colonial contemporary era. His notable recent publications include: Post-Mugabe Era and Feasibility of Regime Change in Zimbabwe (2020); Moulding African Personality Through Reclaiming Physical and Intellectual Space (2020); Media, Libraries, and Archives: Unearthing the Missing Link (2019); SADC regional Integration versus the disintegration of states – A Revisit to the EU-South Africa Trade Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) (2019); Exploring the Relationship between the Media, Libraries and Archives (2018); University of Eswatini Module in Introduction to Political Science (2018); Connecting the Past and the Future: Memory Institutions Facilitating Access to Information in Zimbabwe (2017); Harare Polytechnic Module in Zimbabwe’s History - Pre-colonial to present             (2017); Leveraging Memory Institutions to Preserve Indigenous Knowledge in the Knowledge Age (2016); Challenges and Opportunities for re-enforcing Pan African Movement in the Advent of Globalization (2016); Towards parabiotic partnerships for access and discovery: Leveraging access to e-content within the framework of library consortia in Zimbabwe (2016); Harare Polytechnic Module in International Relations (2016); A Practical Guide to News Writing (2014); Public Relations, Marketing and Advertising (2011); Media, Democracy and Development: Critical Reflection (2011). Rusero is also an independent research consultant having rendered such services to Government, NGOs, INGOs and private companies. Rusero recently completed a PhD in International Relations with the University of Pretoria and the thesis is under examination.





How to Cite

SADC’s Zimbabwe Mediation in 2008 as Preservation of ZANU PF Power. (2023). The Strategic Review for Southern Africa, 45(2).