When Zimbabwean citizens are able to make informed choices about the type of transitional arrangements they would consider in order to peacefully establish democracy, one in four insist on accountability for those responsible for past political crimes. The majority would insist that any form of justice process is local rather than international and when offered the option, while forty eight per cent of the population feel amnesty would be inappropriate, almost one in three would be open to the use of some form of conditional amnesty as a part of a transitional justice process. These recent Afrobarometer findings further indicate that at the moment, due to weakness within national organisations and institutions,citizens are making choices that are under-informed. What Zimbabweans need is more information about the complex range of options that are available and the platform to communicate their opinions to the political stakeholders who will more than likely take the final decisions.
SITO has released a new paper on the question of amnesty based on desk top research and recent interviews with a range of stakeholders in Zimbabwe.
At a minimum it is clear that if conditional amnesty is applied to any of those responsible for politically motivated mass human rights violations, it must be carried out within a framework of democratic reforms and with due recognition of the need for future transitional justice processes.