Rethinking Zimbabwe

July 10, 2012
10:00 am - 02:00 pm


A half-day conference hosted by the National Endowment for Democracy, the World Movement for Democracy and the Solidarity Center

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
1025 F Street NW, 8th Floor

With Zimbabwe’s constitutional reform process coming to an end, and preparations for a referendum and possible national elections being made, new political dynamics are taking hold and it is time for both Zimbabweans and the international community to reassess opportunities for democratic reform.

Read the event summary here

Conference Agenda

10:00 a.m. – Registration and coffee
10:15 a.m. – Introduction by Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Panel 1: A Political Perspective

  • Honorable Jameson Timba, Minister of State (MDC -T)
  • Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa, Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZANU-PF)
  • Professor Lovemore Madhuku, chairman, National Constitutional Assembly
  • Moderator: Jennifer Cooke, director, CSIS Africa program

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m: Lunch Break

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m: U.S.-Zimbabwe Relations

  • Dr. Reuben Brigety II, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
  • H.E. Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe (MDC-M)

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m: Panel 2: Opportunities for Democratic Progress

  • Dr. Ibbo Mandaza, director, Southern Africa Political Economy Trust
  • Prof. Rukudzo Murapa, chairman, Great Zimbabwe Scenarios, and chief editor, Africa Democratic Leadership Academy
  • Dr. Godfrey Kanyenze, director, Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ)
  • Moderator: Imani Countess, director, Solidarity Center, Africa program

About the Speakers

Carl Gershman is the president of the National Endowment for Democracy. In addition to presiding over the Endowment’s grants programs in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and Latin America, he has overseen the creation of the quarterly Journal of Democracy, International Forum for Democratic Studies, and the Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellows Program. He also took the lead in launching the World Movement for Democracy, which is a global network of democracy practitioners and scholars. Mr. Gershman is currently encouraging other democracies to establish their own foundations devoted to the promotion of democratic institutions in the world.

Jameson Timba is the Minister of State in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office, chief political advisor to the Prime Minister and member of House of Assembly for Mount Pleasant Constituency of Harare (MDC-T). Mr. Timba is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the party’s secretary for international relations and cooperation. Previously, he served as Zimbabwe’s deputy minister of media, information and publicity tasked with spearheading media reforms in Zimbabwe. Mr. Timba is founding member of the Zimbabwe Unity Movement, a party led by the former Secretary General of Zanu-PF the late Edgar Tekere. He holds a Bsc in Political Science and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Ambassador Chris Mutsvangwa is a Board Member of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. From the mid-1980s to 2007, Ambassador Mutsvangwa served as Zimbabwe’s ambassador to China, counselor to Namibia, and the permanent mission to the United Nations. Other diplomatic posts in which he has served include the Embassy of Zimbabwe to Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and the European Union from 1980-1985. Ambassador Mutsvangwa has also served as chief executive officer of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), commissioner of the city of Harare (2002), provincial administrative secretary of ZANU PF, member of the constitutional commission of Zimbabwe (1999), and board member of the Trans-media Corporation for Broadcast Transmission (2001).

Arthur Mutambara is Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change-Mutambara faction (MDC). He has served as director of the Standard Bank, managed consulting companies in Zimbabwe and the US. He is an author, professor, community leader, public intellectual, and activist who is extensively involved in socio-economic issues in both the US and Africa. He has served as research scientist and taught Robotics and Mechatronics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), FAMU-FSU, and NASA, all in the United States. He holds a BSc from the University of Zimbabwe, an MSc in Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Doctorate of Philosophy in Robotics and Mechatronics from Oxford.

Lovemore Madhuku is an author and awardee of several prizes including the 2004 Civil Courage Prize. Prof. Madhuku has been a civic activist since early 1992 when he provided legal defense for ZCTU officials arrested for protesting against government economic policies. He played a major role in the formation of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) in 1997, where he currently serves as chairperson. NCA is the leading organization advocating for a new, democratic and people-driven constitution in Zimbabwe. He received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Zimbabwe, and a Master and a PhD in law from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Jennifer G. Cooke is the director of the Africa program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). The CSIS’s Africa Program covers a broad range of U.S.-Africa policy issues, including security engagement, health assistance, conflict diplomacy, and support for good governance. It places special emphasis on analyzing political and economic dynamics within African states to better inform U.S. policy choices. Ms. Cooke has authored numerous CSIS reports and has testified before Congress on multiple occasions. Previously Ms. Cooke worked for the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. Congress, as well as for the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Reuben Brigety has been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs since November 2011, with responsibility for Southern African and Regional Security Affairs. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, where he supervised US refugee programs in Africa, managed US humanitarian diplomacy with major international partners, and oversaw the development of international migration policy. Previously he held senior positions at the Center for American Progress and at the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance of the U.S. Agency for International Development. Dr. Brigety is a Distinguished Midshipman Graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and he holds an M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in international relations from the University of Cambridge, England.

Dr. Ibbo Mandaza is a Zimbabwean scholar, author and publisher. He has researched and written extensively on issues of governance, international relations and public policy; and was one of the first senior African Civil Servants in post-independence Zimbabwe (1980-1990). Ibbo Mandaza is currently executive director of the Southern African Political Economy Series (SAPES) Trust and group publisher and editor of the Southern African Political Economic Monthly (SAPEM).

Rukudzo Murapa is a leading expert in political science, democracy, peace and conflict resolution, leadership and governance, economic development and capacity building in Africa. He is chairman of the Great Zimbabwe Scenarios Project (GZSP), based on similar processes in South Africa – the “Mont Fleur” scenario exercise in 1991-92. Prof. Murapa has served as an Advisor with United Nations on Africa, USA and Eastern Europe (including Bosnia and Moldova). He has held several prominent positions at universities around the world including, Africa University in Zimbabwe, University of Zimbabwe, Cornell University in the USA, University of Ghana, Kinshasa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Nairobi and the Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) in the Hague, The Netherlands. Among his several degrees includes, BA Political Science and Economics from Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota, Graduate Certificate in African Economic and Political Development from Syracuse University in NY and PhD. Public Administration, Comparative Politics and Economics, Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Godfrey Kanyenze is an economic researcher and the founding director of the Labor and Economic Development Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ), a research institute of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) established in September 2003. Before that he worked as the chief economist of the ZCTU from 1986 to 2003 and as a statistician at the Central Statistical Office in 1986. He has done consultancy work for various UN agencies and is currently assisting governments in the SADC region on employment issues. Dr. Kanyenze has published extensively in the areas of labor market economics, trade policy, macroeconomic analysis, and others. He has a BS in Economics from the University of Zimbabwe, a Masters in Economics from the University of Kent (UK) and a PhD in Development Studies from the University of Sussex (UK).

Imani Countess is the director of the Africa Program at the Solidarity Center – American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Ms. Countess is a veteran of the U.S.-based Africa advocacy community. A respected political strategist and analyst, she frequently makes presentations regarding U.S.-policy toward Africa, including congressional and expert witness testimony. She has extensive knowledge of African politics, particularly Southern Africa. Previously, Ms. Countess held various positions including with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the TransAfrica Forum where she provided oversight and implementation of democracy strengthening programs, and advised, conceptualized and implemented Zimbabwe programs.