The role of SADC mediators in Zimbabwe : exploring the process behind the breakthrough.

Bhengu, Zandile
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The role of SADC mediators in Zimbabwe resulted in a power sharing deal that was signed by the leaders of the opposition and the ruling party. It brought to an end the conflict aroused by the March as well as the July 2008 elections. A government of national unity was formed through that deal. However, the Zimbabwe story has not been given enough attention as to establish what influenced the deal. To begin with, the parties who presented diverging views, who could not each other before, managed to reach an agreement that binds them to work together to help rebuild Zimbabwe. A lot has been said about Zimbabwe and the mediation itself; however, there is a lack of analysis as to what informed the deal. It is important to note that negotiations began way before the roundtable negotiations. It is the purpose of this paper to pay attention to the role of the third party mediators, starting from the private meetings with the parties concerned to the signing of the global political agreement. This paper aims to interrogate the process of mediation from pre-negotiation to reaching a breakthrough. It examines the extent to which mediators were accountable to and the influence they had over the parties. It will also discuss the impediments faced by the mediators during the negotiations in order to understand what informed the result.