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

Despite government commitment, Zimbabwe may not be able to bounce back from its current economic and political challenges.

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.

About the author

Piers Pigou has worked for several organisations focused on human rights, transitional justice and political violence, including the South African and East Timorese truth commissions, since 1992. Between June 2009 and October 2010, he was a senior associate responsible for Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe in particular, at the International Center for Transitional Justice. In April 2011, he joined the International Crisis Group (ICG) as Project Director for Southern Africa. Since November 2015, he has been a part-time consultant for ICG.

Development partners
This report was made possible with support from the government of the Netherlands. The ISS is also grateful for support from the other members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Japan, Norway, Sweden and the USA.
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