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Republic of Zimbabwe

Flag of Zimbabwe Coat of Arms of Zimbabwe
Motto
Unity, Freedom, Work
Anthem
Simudzai Mureza We
Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe
Map of Zimbabwe
CapitalHarare
Government Semi-presidential republic
President
- From 1987Robert Mugabe
Prime Minister
- From 2009Morgan Tsvangirai
Legislature Parliament
- Upper houseSenate
- Lower houseHouse of Assembly
History
April 18, 1980Established
Area390,757 km²
Population
- 200912,521,000
 Density32/km²
GDP2009 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 4.9 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 395
Currencynone
Flag of Zimbabwe Rhodesia Zimbabwe Rhodesia
v

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a semi-presidential consociationalist and parliamentarian republic in Southern Africa.


Background

The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. The ruling ZANU-PF party used fraud and intimidation to win a two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election, allowing it to amend the constitution at will and recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s. In April 2005, Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of vote tampering and ballot-box stuffing resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders have yet failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. Mugabe in October publicly called for early elections in 2011-two years before his term ends-but no election date has been set.[1]

Economy

The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems. Its 1998-2002 involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. The government's land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, has badly damaged the commercial farming sector, the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products. The EU and the US provide food aid on humanitarian grounds. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. The power-sharing government formed in February 2009 has led to some economic improvements, including the cessation of hyperinflation by eliminating the use of the Zimbabwe dollar and removing price controls. The economy is registering its first growth in a decade, but will be reliant on further political improvement for greater growth.[2]

President

  • Robert Mugabe () (December 31, 1987 - )


Prime Minister

  • Morgan Tsvangirai () (February 11, 2009 - )

Nation

Zimbabwean Polities

Neighbouring Nations

References

  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview

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