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The impact of democracy in Zimbabwe: assessing political, social and economic developments since the dawn of democracy
Source of the information:
The Centre for Policy Studies
This paper briefly outlines some of the perceptions of Zimbabweans regarding the various changes that have occurred in the country in the past 10–15 years, particularly where the democratisation process is concerned. The paper seeks to ascertain whether the advent of democracy in Zimbabwe in 1980 has had a positive or a negative relationship with the processes of empowering the people socio-economically. However, it is generally agreed in Zimbabwe that the nation has moved several steps backwards since 2000 in terms of the democratisation process.
The majority of Zimbabweans feel that the various changes that have occurred in the Zimbabwe economy have seriously devastated their living standards. More than nine in ten of the sampled population described Zimbabwe’s economic conditions as “bad”, with only 4 per cent describing it as “good”.
The majority of Zimbabweans generally agree that the current crisis that the nation is experiencing is essentially one of leadership. It is generally felt that President Mugabe and his Cabinet colleagues have been in office for far too long to govern in a transparent and accountable manner.
The Constitution, which was used to curb civic rights and intensify its control over the public, has been amended some 18 times since its inauguration in 1980.
This paper concludes by stating that:
Unlike many other African countries that have been moving towards meaningful democratisation during the last decade, Zimbabwe has, at least in the past 15 years, been moving further away from democracy towards authoritarianism, if not dictatorship
The commercial farm invasions of 2000 have had serious ramifications for both social and economic development in the southern African country. There is, however, clear evidence that the majority of Zimbabwean citizens are actively demanding democracy and rejecting authoritarianism if events over the past eight years are considered
There is, however, hope that the recently concluded agreement on the formation of an inclusive government for Zimbabwe may enable the country to revive its economic and social sectors in the not-so-distant future.