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 violence and intimidation 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.
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate): $5.574 billion;
note: in 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar was taken out of circulation, making Zimbabwe's GDP at the official exchange rate a highly inaccurate statistic (2010 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: 5.9% (2010 est.); -5.7% (2009 est.); -18.9% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $400 (2010 est.); $400 (2009 est.); $400 (2008 est.);
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 19.5%; industry: 24%; services: 56.5% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 68% (2004);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 2%; highest 10%: 40.4% (1995);
Labor force: 3.848 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 66%; industry: 10%; services: 24% (1996);
Unemployment rate: 95% (2009 est.); 80% (2005 est.);
note: figures reflect underemployment; true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable
Budget: revenues: $2.25 billion; expenditures: $2.25 billion (2008 est.);
Industries: mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages;
Industrial production growth rate: 4% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 8.89 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 10.89 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 32 million kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - imports: 2.691 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
(pro-opposition weekly), Harare
Displaying 1 to 4 of 110 items.
Legal frameworks play a powerful role in transforming norms and protecting girls’ rights. Although many African countries have established 18 as the minimum marriage age for girls, weak enforcement has meant these laws have had little impact.
Droves of small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe are moving away from growing food crops and turning to tobacco, a trend that seriously threatens the country's food security.
Nine years after the Kimberley Process was formed to stop the trade in conflict diamonds and ensure that diamond purchases were not funding violence, the KP has refused to evolve and address the clear links between diamonds, violence and tyranny.
Although Zimbabwe has a more open press than in the past, journalists and news organizations that threaten the government still regularly feel the hand of the crackdown.