Zimbabwe’s pivotal moment

A map of Zimbabwe showing Mashonaland, Harare and the Marange diamond fields
The Mashonaland region is a stronghold of the ZANU-PF, the party of President Robert Mugabe. The opposition hopes to make inroads there (source: macpixxel for GIS)
  • Zimbabwe's dire economic and political situation is due to bad governance
  • Huge protests against the Mugabe regime have occurred over the past year
  • The political opposition is divided
  • Unrest and violence are likely outcomes of the 2018 presidential election

Zimbabwe’s economic and financial troubles are nothing new. But with elections a year away, and amid growing protests against President Robert Mugabe and his ruling ZANU-PF party, the country is at a critical juncture. While growing unrest is threatening the ZANU-PF’s prospects for staying in power after 2018, there are doubts about whether the opposition can create a sustainable alternative.

Zimbabwe is the 13th most fragile state in the world, according to the 2017 Fund for Peace Fragile States Index. But unlike its peers, Zimbabwe has seen relative peace and political stability for decades – meaning that its fragility is a consequence of bad governance.

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