Accession Number : ADA500351
Title : Zimbabwe
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Ploch, Lauren
Report Date : 01 Apr 2009
Pagination or Media Count : 45
Abstract : President Mugabe's government has been seen in the past decade as autocratic and repressive by its critics, and its human rights record is poor. The government has suppressed freedom of speech and assembly, and many contend that the government has restricted access to food, already scarce, in opposition areas. The MDC, divided over how to respond, split into two factions in 2005, hampering its ability to challenge the ruling party. Reports of political violence rose sharply after Zimbabwe's March 2008 elections, when, for the first time since independence, Mugabe's re-election as president in the June runoff was viewed as illegitimate by the United States and the United Nations Secretary-General, among others. As part of the deal, Tsvangirai became Prime Minister of a new coalition government in February 2009, and cabinet positions have been divided among the parties. The cost of rebuilding the economy may be as high as $8 billion. Official inflation rose above 200,000,000% in 2008, and unemployment is estimated at more than 90%. The adult HIV prevalence rate of 15.3% has contributed to a sharp drop in life expectancy, and three-quarters of the population is expected to require food aid in early 2009. The country has yet to contain a cholera outbreak with over 90,000 infections and over 4,000 deaths. Deteriorating conditions have led many to emigrate to neighboring countries, creating a substantial burden on the region. Following controversial elections in 2000 and citing abuses of human rights and the rule of law, the United States and some other former allies of the government became vocal critics. The United States has enforced targeted sanctions against top Zimbabwe officials and associates since 2002. This report provides background on events leading up to the country's most recent elections, in March and June 2008.
Descriptors : *ZIMBABWE , *UNEMPLOYMENT , *INFLATION(ECONOMICS) , *CHOLERA , ACCESS , HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUSES , POLITICAL REVOLUTION , ELECTIONS , LIMITATIONS , COSTS , ECONOMIC ANALYSIS , UNITED STATES , FOOD
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE