Accession Number : ADA514760
Title : Zimbabwe
Descriptive Note : Congressional rept.
Corporate Author : LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
Personal Author(s) : Ploch, Lauren
Report Date : 01 Feb 2010
Pagination or Media Count : 52
Abstract : Zimbabwe's prospects appeared promising in 1980, as it gained independence after a long liberation war. Rising inflation and unemployment bred discontent in the 1990s and led in 1999 to the formation of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The new party surprised many with its initial success, campaigning against a 2000 referendum that would have legalized the presidents continued rule, made government officials immune from prosecution, and allowed the uncompensated seizure of white-owned land for redistribution to black farmers. The referendum failed, and the MDC won nearly half the seats in the 2000 parliamentary election. Members of President Robert Mugabe's ruling party subsequently took numerous, often undemocratic actions to bolster their power. President Mugabe's government was seen in the past decade as autocratic and repressive by its critics, and its human rights record has been poor. The government suppressed freedom of speech and assembly, and many contend that the ruling party 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 party lost its majority in the National Assembly. 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. In September 2008, after several weeks of negotiations, Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power-sharing arrangement aimed at resolving the political standoff.
Descriptors : *ZIMBABWE , *POLITICAL PARTIES , *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , UNEMPLOYMENT , ELECTIONS , ECONOMIC SANCTIONS , DEMOCRACY , INTERNATIONAL POLITICS , INFLATION(ECONOMICS)
Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE