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Zimbabwe’s 2018 Elections: Charismatic Appeals vs. Performance Legitimacy


On July 30, 2018, Zimbabwe will have its first post-Mugabe harmonised election. This article provides an overview of how the two leading contenders for the Presidency, E.D. Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa, have gone about winning the hearts and minds of Zimbabweans in the 2018 electoral race.

By McDonald Lewanika

Blow to Apartheid’s Banks

A heavy blow has been dealt to two European banks at the centre of the apartheid-era international arms money machine. Evidence in the possession of Open Secrets shows that the banks were responsible for channelling billions of dollars through a global money-laundering scheme used to secretly buy weapons.

By Michael Marchant

Fact Sheet: Local Government Budgeting and Planning

Municipalities are responsible for planning and budgeting at the local level. They are required by law to involve communities in these decisions. This fact sheet explains how these processes work. It will help you to participate in your community's development and monitor the delivery of local government services.

What's in South Africa's new Political Party Funding Bill?

Until recently, South Africa's political parties have been largely united in their opposition to the regulation of their private funding.  After the ANC changed its stance last year, on the 27 March 2018, the National Assembly adopted the Political Party Funding Bill.

Zimbabwe After the Coup: Prospects for Real Political Change

While Robert Mugabe’s departure after 37 years was widely welcomed, he was replaced by his former vicepresident in what was no less than a military coup. That Emmerson Mnangagwa has long been a member of the political establishment clearly raises doubts about his desire for meaningful political reform.

By McDonald Lewanika

Advocate Thuli Madonsela: Whispering Truth to Power

In South Africa, Jacob Zuma’s presidency posed the most difficult test yet to the country’s young democracy. This article offers a powerful portrait of the country’s public protector, Thuli Madonsela, who fearlessly “whispered truth to power” throughout the Zuma era.

By Shameela Seedat

Moving On Up!? Opposition Parties and Political Change in South Africa

In South Africa, Jacob Zuma’s presidency posed the most difficult test yet to the country’s young democracy but also boosted the political opposition. This article considers whether the opposition’s momentum can be maintained against a revived ANC under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
By Sithembile Mbete

What we do

Inequality, poverty and the failure to deliver quality public services such as health and education threaten to undo democratic gains in the region.  In response, the Democracy & Social Justice programme seeks to strengthen the political voice of marginalised groups advocating for socio-economic rights and the equitable use of state resources to address injustice.

The programme supports citizen groups’ engagement with policy, analysis of budgets and social audits.  It also supports citizen networks and network building that seek to build public ownership of democratic institutions, and hold them to account for their role in building a just society. The programme specifically targets social movements and membership based organisations.

As feminism is a central tenet of all HBF programmes, this programme works towards the vision of a society and institutions which actively respond to – and attempt to correct – the political and socio-economic realities of gender inequality.