National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe: Challenges and Opportunities

"The purpose of this paper is to critically examine issues concerning transitional justice in Zimbabwe after a decade of politically motivated intra-conflicts. The Zimbabwean case highlights the importance of critically examining the relevance of instituting transitional justice systems with a view to making informed choices about achieving a balance between comprehensive processes of restorative justice and retributive justice systems. The paper argues that whatever form of transitional justice is chosen, there is need for a clear and credible account of the past involving acknowledgement for past violations as a process of facilitating individual and national healing and reconciliation. The paper further argues that it is only after truth-seeking initiatives have taken place, that willingness to seek justice based on people’s understandings of what happened to them can be achieved. Thus, it is important that the state takes concrete policy actions to demonstrate a break with the past and build a future based on respect for human rights and rule of law."