Zimbabwe not ready for Nepad’s peer review

Shakeman Mugari

Finance minister Herbert Murerwa says Zimbabwe is not prepared to be scrutinised under Nepad’s peer review mechanism.



f”>The peer review mechanism, which was launched by Nepad (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) leaders to monitor African governments on governance practices, is set to be up and running by December.


Sixteen African countries have since volunteered to be test cases in the initial stages of the project, which political analysts say is the litmus test of Nepad leaders’ commitment to democracy and human rights. It is also viewed as the key to unlocking much-needed development assistance from G8 countries.


In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent in Tokyo last week, Murerwa said Zimbabwe had not volunteered to be reviewed.


“Our position is that this is a voluntary and individual choice by some African countries,” said Murerwa. “And we have chosen not to be reviewed. We are not prepared.”


Although the names of the 16 volunteers are yet to be made public, Murerwa confirmed Zimbabwe was not on the list. Murerwa was not clear on whether Zimbabwe would join the list later.


“It will be a government decision. When the government decides the time is ripe we will volunteer for review,” Murerwa said.


Nigeria announced last week that it had opened its doors for review. It pronounced its support for the review process at the recently held Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III) in Japan. At the TICAD III meeting, Japan, a key donor to Zimbabwe, announced its intention to adopt Nepad as the platform to assist Africa’s developing countries.


Analysts say Zimbabwe’s reluctance to come under the spotlight shows its non-compliance with democratic norms. They say government is aware that it has not improved its human rights record and delivery of democracy.


“The government is aware that they will fail any kind of assessment for good governance. Any honest assessor will find them guilty of human rights abuses,” said National Constitutional Assembly chairman, Lovemore Madhuku.


Zimbabwe is currently under the international spotlight for its crack-down on the media and the opposition.