Institute of Peace, Leadership & Governance

Every year, our graduate students conduct research with the aim of assisting communities deal with issues and challenges that confront them.


  • Power relations between local community residents and informal miners in the extraction of diamonds in Chiadzwa, Eastern Zimbabwe (Solomon Mungure)

  • Developing football as a vehicle for peace building in Zimbabwe (David Makwerere)

  • The role of the local media in consolidating peace in post-conflict situations (Lucy Nyamupanedengu)

  • Building and strengthening youth capacities for participation in policy processes in Matabeleland (Talita Ndebele)

  • Civil society intervention in the cholera outbreak in Budiriro Suburb, Harare (Donwell Dube)

  • Introducing peace education to schools in high density suburbs (Olga Ranchaze)

Research in Progress

Women Negotiating Peace: Research Study on the Implementation Of UN Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889 and 1960 In Selected Countries In The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region

Researchers: Machakanja, P,. Bere, E. and Mutisi, M

Research Title: Strengthening Democratic Institutions And Processes In Zimbabwe

Researchers: Mutisi, M., Machakanja, P. and Bere, E.

Commissioned Research: SADC -Council of NGOs (Botswana)

Authors:     Machakanja, P. and Ott,  M. (2013)

Research Title:
The SADC WE NEED: Towards Values – Based Regional Integration and Development

The research examined the core values of SADC. It sought first, to gain an understanding of the values that people live and cherish and second, it examined the extent to which SADC citizens are committed to the observance of the bloc’s founding values. The study revealed a heterogeneous landscape regarding commitment to the values and their impact on the configurations of the democratization process and the socio-economic modernization trends. Despite the progress made with integration of the SADC member states and emerging interactive trading partnerships, there is evidence of a slow pace in implementation and impact. Research results revealed varying degrees of enabling environments in member states to facilitate full regional integration, in particular with the private sector. Empirical evidence showed that member states need collective political commitment to embrace the popular values of their citizens, and to take seriously, the values laid down in the SADC Treaty. Member states show differences in the establishment and operationalization of SADC National Committees and the strengthening of RISDP/SIPO implementing structures. Also evident is the need for SADC institutional reforms with a focus on strengthening SADC governance, decision making and management structures particularly the capacities and competencies of the SADC Secretariat. From the study we learn that regional integration based on shared and common values could form a new development paradigm for the SADC region-as long as it is driven by pragmatism and the openness to accept the political and cultural changes of citizens. There are  suggestions that the most successful countries in the world owe their success to deeper regional integration based on shared values; hence SADC’s quest to deepen its regional integration agenda should be anchored on the common values of its citizens.

Research Project: Mapping Transitional Justice Actors in Zimbabwe

Authors:     Machakanja, P. and Mungure, S. (2013)

Mapping Transitional Justice Actors in Zimbabwe is an incisive optic into transitional politics during the life of Zimbabwe`s Government of National Unity.  It highlights the turbulence of transitional processes and the multiple stakeholders that have characterised the post- Global Political agreement Zimbabwe. In mapping the hierarchies of the transitional justice actors, the book reveals the vertical, lateral and horizontal vertices of power and the forms of alternative justice given state and non-state partisanship. The grounded empirical and conceptual issues on transitional justice in Zimbabwe are tailored to make a good read for activists. Practitioners, scholars and policy-makers and allows for positive depolarisation of strategies, discourse and policies.

Research Theme: Peace Building and Development

Authors:     Bere, E., Mungure, S. and Machakanja, P. (2013)

Research Title: Governance, Conflict and Natural Wealth Sharing in Zimbabwe: A Pilot Study of Peace building in Precious Stones Extraction in the SADC : A Case study of Marange Diamonds

Militarised extractive industries in Africa constitute an important catalyst for civil disobedience and unrest. Based on the understanding of the politics of the subsurface, the security state in Zimbabwe took control of a 70000 ha. diamond reserve and partitioned it into joint venture concessions in violation of community livelihoods and traditional practice. How was this expropriation of land and loss of sacred spaces viewed by the subaltern communities and their sympathisers? Has diamond extraction since 2006 created a benefit sharing regime that builds and sustains peace? The Institute of Peace Leadership and Governance’s EED Research Project is part of an envisaged regional research project that seeks to unpack the relationships between the extractive mining sector and peace building agendas in the SADC. The Zimbabwe pilot project was informed by emerging data that the nation commands the world’s largest diamond reserves, second largest platinum reserves and over 40 other exploitable minerals with the potential of turning Zimbabwe into the jewel of Africa. Business Times Africa magazine (Edition 1, 2012) puts the potential output of the Marange diamonds deposits at 60 million carats a year—worth about $3 billion, or more than 15% of the global diamond supply. Canadian jeweller Brilliant Earth suggests that the total value of Marange gems may be as high as $800 billion, making them the richest fields ever found.  The one year research project drew from ‘development as freedom’ by Sen (1990) to unravel the patterns in ownership, extraction and community development associated with precious stones in Zimbabwe. It acknowledges that precious stones may both be an agent of civil strife and economic emancipation. Data for the research came  from the feedback of a wide profile of respondents starting with the peasant communities  in Chiadzwa and those  relocated to Arda Transau, key traditional leaders  and organisations  like the Chiadzwa Community Development Trust. The feedback from these actors was corroborated with information from civil society agencies in the extractive industry. The research was met with increasing information black-outing from the state mining agencies reminiscent of the lack of transparency in the diamond sector. The research established   serious flaws in the processes of decision making and absence of institutional mechanisms for the fiscal accountability, human security among those in the mining industry. The approach the accumulation technologies in Chiadzwa; by exploitation, and by dispossession offer no possibility for peace building until robust political will and policy reforms for transparency are entrenched within the political actors, bureaucrats and the corporate sector.


Research Theme: Violence In Transition Project Phase 3 (VTP 3) -Zimbabwe

Authors:     Bere, E., Mungure, S. and Machakanja, P (2012)

Research Topic: A comparative study of tracking trends and patterns of violence in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe

As a transitional democracy, the Zimbabwean polity has experienced a sundry of violent engagements most of which have political and economic expressions. A plethora of coalitions and rivalries have thus emerged along ethnic, gender, caste and racial amalgamations and cleavages. In the most radical sense, political tensions have resulted in the mobilisation of confrontational and militant groups, called informal armed formations (IAFs) in this research. The political violence perpetrated by these formations in liaison with or against the state security has had some gender specific nuances and serious disruption of the social order better explained through patriarchal masculinity. The comparative IDRC funded VTP 3 research project explored the narratives of communities, political and ethnic identities in the discharge and conveyance of transitional violence in the 2007-8 post-election violence in Kenya, post-independence violence in Zimbabwe and following specific masculine identities in South Africa. VTP 3 therefore focussed on two themes namely; the informal armed formations and the gendering of violence particularly in post-independence Zimbabwe. To capture victim-perpetrator and ‘post conflict’ transitional dynamics, VTP 3 conducted interviews and focus groups in six provinces in Zimbabwe using narrative inquiry. The research reveals how radicalised political identities and fractious transitional processes have failed to comprehensively address the ghost of political violence before, during and after the Global Political Agreement (GPA) of 2008. Proposals for sustainable peace in the visited areas fall in a continuum between restorative and retributive justice systems. Organisational records and reports relating to previous violent incidents helped the researchers establish the identities, patterns, nature, ideologies, relationships of actors involved in the violence. National and community-based initiatives for violence reduction and prevention are generally incongruent with local approaches tailor made to address local realities and experiences. The space for women   in these interventions has been challenged by power deficits while violence continues to generate revenue for political capital.

Key words
Gender, identity, informal armed formations,  masculinity, transition, violence