Piers Pigou

Policy and Research Papers

Zimbabwe’s Threadbare Theatre of Reform

Zimbabweans are slowly rediscovering the courage to speak out as Zimbabwe’s much-vaunted reform process is consumed by insincerity, slow-burn crisis, and infighting over the succession to 92-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

Complementing growing opposition activity, recent weeks have seen a rash of spirited and well organised protest campaigns, most notably #Tajamuka and #ThisFlag, and a widely observed “stay-away” from work, adding further pressure on a bankrupt government, whose efforts to pilot a much needed recovery look increasingly artificial due to political infighting within the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. 

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Zimbabwe's reforms: An exercise in credibility - or pretence?

Zimbabwe is again facing major political and economic challenges. Prospects for recovery under the leadership of 92-year-old Robert Mugabe and his chief lieutenants in the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front are looking increasingly bleak. The government has publically committed itself to a reform process that is intended to help reconnect to international channels of credit and investment and an underlying confidence in the country’s potential to bounce back remains. The international community supports these endeavours, but convictions are being tested as headway is stymied by a combination of internal and external exigencies that have exposed the limitations of a political leadership desperate to maintain its hegemony, but clearly running out of options.

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