The Government of National Unity in Zimbabwe : challenges and obstacles to public administration

05 Jul 2013

This article analyses the challenges of the Government of National Unity (GNU) on public administration in Zimbabwe. Confl icts do not only affect the economy, but also adversely affect the liberties of the population of the affected country. In the absence of timely interventions, the effects of internal confl icts may eventually spread to the neighbouring countries. In the interest of regional peace and trade, regional blocs have an obligation to participate in the search for a lasting solution to confl icts in member states. The 29th March 2008 harmonised general elections failed to produce an outright presidential winner. Subsequently this led to the non-recognition of the results of the run-off pitting Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU PF) and Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), by the local, regional and international communities. This in turn prompted the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to intervene in order to avert a leadership crisis by brokering a power-sharing agreement involving ZANU PF and the two MDC formations. The 15th September 2008 agreement marked the historic signing of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which paved the way for the consummation of the GNU on 13th February 2009. The power-sharing deal has its own problems too. To determine and explore the various challenges and obstacles to public administration arising from the power-sharing agreement, relevant literature was studied, analysed and contextualised. The solution which was meant to achieve political expediency has presented public offi cials with some unanticipated challenges arising mainly from political polarisation and the politicisation of public institutions. Nevertheless, the GNU has registered a few positive results, but such successes are not within the scope of this article.