In 1999, the population of Zimbabwe was estimated to be around 11.6 million people. The majority of the population were Bantu, with other minorities such as Pygmies, San and Europeans. The economy was mainly based on agriculture and manufacturing, with a small but growing mining industry. Foreign relations in 1999 saw Zimbabwe strengthen ties with countries in Africa such as South Africa, Zambia and Angola. It also had diplomatic relations with other countries such as the United States, China and the United Kingdom. Politically, Zimbabwe was a semi-presidential republic with an elected president heading the government. Universal suffrage existed for all citizens over 18 years old and elections were held every five years. The President at this time was Robert Mugabe who had been in power since 1987. See ethnicityology for Zimbabwe in the year of 2018.
Zimbabwe. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Zimbabwe. The economic and political crisis in the country deepened during the year. Both foreign governments and the opposition in the country criticized the corruption and President Robert Mugabe’s demand that the judiciary and the media should submit to the government’s political line. Several countries, including Denmark, withdrew their aid.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of ZI which stands for Zimbabwe and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
Strikes broke out in June among the civil servants and were followed by, among other things. a six-week medical strike in the fall. The doctors demanded not only higher wages, but also an upgrading of the entire healthcare system, which was close to collapse. The health crisis coincided with Mugabe recognizing for the first time that AIDS has become a national disaster requiring approximately 1,200 deaths each week. The doctors’ strike ended after the government promised to double wages and better working conditions. The entire public sector was promised better conditions, and Mugabe also offered financial compensation to the relatives of the thousands killed in the province of Matabeleland during a civil conflict in the 1980s. Following the death of Vice President Joshua Nkomo in July, Mugabe asked at his funeral for forgiveness for the abuses that the army’s elite forces exposed to the Ndebel people.
Critics felt that Mugabe was trying to buy himself the victory in the 2000 parliamentary elections. Growth has virtually stopped, inflation is up 70% and every third adult is unemployed. The war in Congo-Kinshasa was estimated to cost the nearly ruined Zimbabwe upwards of $ 27 million a month, but the government only admitted costs of three million. In September, to finance the 11,000 soldiers’ presence in Congo, Zimbabwe signed an agreement with the Kinshasa government on joint mining of Congo’s gold and diamonds. Critics saw the settlement as a form of neo-colonial plunder.
At the initiative of the national organization ZCTU, a new opposition party was formed in September, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The party was at the forefront of the protests against a constitutional change that was tabled in November that, according to the opposition, does not clearly limit the president’s almost unrestricted power. It is also not clear whether Mugabe must resign when his term expires in 2002.
In November 2010, the Institute for Development Studies at Sussex University in England published a comprehensive study of land reform in Zimbabwe. The study diminished 10 years of Western discourse that reform was a failure, had only benefited Mugabe’s friends and had led to a collapse in agricultural production. The study showed that the results were far more complex. The results varied most from agriculture to agriculture. One of the authors, Professor Ian Scoones, said: “There is not a single history of land reform in Zimbabwe. The reality is far more nuanced ».
Despite the unifying government, colonial states in Europe as well as the United States continue their financial sanctions against Zimbabwe. The aim of these states is to interfere in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs and they demand Mugabe completely removed from power. They never forgave ZANU-PF, which removed the Western-backed apartheid regime led by Ian Smith from power in 1980. The continued sanctions led Mugabe in December 2010 to threaten to nationalize Western companies.
Economic growth and slightly greater political stability led to social progress for the population on several fronts. Nutrition and health care have improved and Zimbabwe has Africa’s lowest illiteracy rate. But at the same time, political tensions between ZANU-PF and MDC continued. The two parties in the unifying government could not agree on amendments to the constitution and in December 2010 Mugabe declared that parliamentary elections would be held in 2011. This led to an increase in confrontations between the two parties, with ZANU-PF being the most violent party most often. and at the same time avoided prosecution. The situation reflected the fact that security forces and police continue to identify almost 100% with ZANU-PF.
SADC, with South Africa at the forefront, had played an active role since 2009 to get the unity government to hold and the two parties to cooperate, but in March 2011, patience was running out. At an extraordinary meeting in Zambia, the Cooperation Organization passed a sharp resolution criticizing the human rights violations in the country, the violent assaults on the MDC and arbitrary arrests. ZANU-PF again responded by accusing the SADC of meddling in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs, but the sharp resolution nonetheless sparked the paralyzed political process: designing a timetable for elections, appointing a new electoral commission and taking steps for constitutional changes. At the same time, South Africa succeeded in convincing ZANU-PF that the security situation in Zimbabwe did not allow elections in 2011. They were therefore postponed.
Despite calls for calm from both the MDC and ZANU-PF, the politically motivated clashes between supporters of the political parties continued through 2012. In May, local politician Cephas Magura died in the Mudzi district following clashes between supporters of the MDC-T and ZANU-PF. ZANU-PF supporters attacked a legally convened meeting of MDC-T. Following the killing, 7 ZANU-PF members – including local politician David Chimukoko – were arrested and charged with murder and disturbance of public order. Often, however, the abusers did not receive any legal repression. The security forces frequently used torture against detainees and the like. Amnesty International died at least 8 in police custody.